Planned for years
AS THE carnage of the Iraq war fades, and TV commentators cease applauding the
conflict, thoughtful Americans might see that the war had little to do with terrorism --
it was carefully planned by George W. Bush's "neoconservative" clique long before
the 9/11 tragedy.
"We have been dragged into this war by a president surrounded by super-hawks,
who intended from the beginning to attack," Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., declared.
Back in 2000, before Bush gained the presidency, his Republican mentors in the
Project for the New American Century outlined a master plan to use America's
colossal military power to enforce U.S. "interests" around the planet. Part of the plan
included removing Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, a mortal enemy of Bush's father.
After Bush II was in the White House, and the PNAC leaders were given top federal
posts, the 9/11 attack provided a reason for waging U.S. military campaigns. The
first assault, against Afghanistan, was fully justified, because that nation's fanatical
Taliban rulers harbored the al-Qaida terrorist network responsible for the suicide
strike on America.
Then Bush issued a new defense policy, saying he had a right to unleash
"pre-emptive" wars against any nation suspected of posing danger to America.
Starting last fall, Bush made dozens of claims that Iraq possessed horror weapons
and was in league with al-Qaida. These dubious accusations were pretexts for a
war already planned. Although he repeatedly said during the winter that he had
"made no decision" about invading Iraq, it wasn't true. More than a year ago, Bush
crudely told senators in the White House: "F-- Saddam. We're taking him out."
Obviously, his attack on Iraq had been envisioned for years-but Americans never
were told what was coming. Only perceptive observers could see that Bush
deliberately was starting a war. U.S. diplomat John Brady Kiesling resigned from the
State Department Feb. 27 with a bitter letter saying:
"We have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic
manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam. We spread
disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the
unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq ... The policies we are now asked to
advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American
interests. When our friends are afraid of us rather than afraid for us, it is time to
In the March 18 Washington Post, columnist David Broder wrote:
"Looking back, the major landmarks of the past year appear to have been carefully
designed to leave no alternative but war with Iraq."
The current Washington Monthly, the national journal created by Charleston native
Charlie Peters, says the Bush "neocon" clique secretly plans to remove many other
Mideast regimes and install White House-approved governments. In a cover story
titled "Practice to Deceive," the magazine says:
"The great majority of the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict
the president is leading them into. The White House has presented this as a war to
depose Saddam Hussein in order to keep him from acquiring weapons of mass
destruction-a goal that the majority of Americans support. But the White House
really has in mind an enterprise of such a scale, cost and scope that would be
almost impossible to sell to the American public. The White House knows that. So it
hasn't even tried. Instead, it's focused on getting us into Iraq with the hope of setting
off a sequence of events that will draw us inexorably toward the agenda they have in
The hidden plan, the magazine says, is to install an elected democracy in Iraq, then
spread this transition-by military force, if necessary-to all neighboring Arab
countries. But the strategy could go haywire, it says, because enraged Muslims in
those nations might elect fanatical regimes.
"Citizens of these countries generally hate the United States, and show strong
sympathy for Islamic radicals. If free elections were held in Saudi Arabia today,
Osama bin Laden would probably win more votes than Crown Prince Abdullah."
Disturbingly, Americans aren't being told of the traumatic course charted by the
White House-or the motives impelling the president. ConsortiumNews founder
Robert Parry observed:
"Bush apparently sees his mission in messianic terms, believing that he is the
instrument of God as he strikes at Saddam Hussein and other U.S. adversaries. In
a profile of Bush at war, USA Today cited Commerce Secretary Don Evans, one of
Bush's closest friends, describing Bush's belief that he was called on by God to do
what he's doing."
Incredible. Bush never told Americans that he had been planning the Iraq war for
years-and he didn't reveal his innermost reasons for craving it. If his Mideast
strategy proceeds as The Washington Monthly forecasts, ominous times lie ahead