New articles after 5/4/03

    The Bush Doctrine: Exporting democracy benefits the U.S.
    But using military might to pursue ideal has some nations wondering, What now?...
    Posted on Sun, May. 04, 2003

    They emerged from behind the scenes politically to change American foreign policy. But they've always been there, and Iraq is only one of their goals.
    By Dick Polman
    Inquirer Staff Writer

    WASHINGTON - For seven long years, Bill Kristol agitated for a U.S. coup against Saddam Hussein, and argued that America should remake the world to serve its own interests. Few bothered to listen at the time. So how does he feel now?
    Sunday May 4, 4:50 PM
    Israel sceptical at Powell pledge Syria closing down Palestinian hardliners
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Published on Monday, May 5, 2003 by

    My Country: The World
    by Howard Zinn

    Our government has declared a military victory in Iraq. As a patriot, I will not celebrate. I will mourn the dead -- the American GIs, and also the Iraqi dead, of which there have been many, many more.
    I will mourn the Iraqi children, not just those who are dead, but those who have been be blinded, crippled, disfigured, or traumatized, like the bombed children of Afghanistan who, as reported by American visitors, lost their power of speech. The American media has not given us a full picture of the human suffering caused by our bombing; for that, we need to read the foreign press.
    We will get precise figures for the American dead, but not for the Iraqis. Recall Colin Powell after the first Gulf War, when he reported the "small" number of U.S. dead, and when asked about the Iraqi dead, Powell replied: "That is really not a matter I am terribly interested in."
    As a patriot, contemplating the dead GIs, should I comfort myself (as, understandably, their families do) with the thought: "They died for their country." If so, I would be lying to myself. Those who die in this war will not die for their country. They will die for their government. They will die for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. And yes, they will die for the greed of the oil cartels, for the expansion of the American empire, for the political ambitions of the President. They will die to cover up the theft of the nation's wealth to pay for the machines of death.
    The distinction between dying for our country and dying for your government is crucial in understanding what I believe to be the definition of patriotism in a democracy.
    According to the Declaration of Independence -- the fundamental document of democracy -- governments are artificial creations, established by the people, "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed", and charged by the people to ensure the equal right of all to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Furthermore, as the Declaration says, "whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it."
    When a government recklessly expends the lives of its young for crass motives of profit and power (always claiming that its motives are pure and moral ("Operation Just Cause" was the invasion of Panama and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in the present instance) it is violating its promise to the country. It is the country that is primary -- the people, the ideals of the sanctity of human life and the promotion of liberty. War is almost always a breaking of those promises (although one might find rare instances of true self defense). It does not enable the pursuit of happiness, but brings despair and grief.
    With the war in Iraq won, shall we revel in American military power and, against the history of modern empires, insist that the American empire will be beneficent?
    The American record does not justify confidence in its boast that it will bring democracy to Iraq. Should Americans welcome the expansion of the nation's power, with the anger this has generated among so many people in the world? Should we welcome the huge growth of the military budget at the expense of health, education, the needs of children, one fifth of whom grow up in poverty?
    I suggest that a patriotic American who cares for his country might act on behalf of a different vision. Instead of being feared for our military prowess, we should want to be respected for our dedication to human rights.
    Should we not begin to redefine patriotism? We need to expand it beyond that narrow nationalism which has caused so much death and suffering. If national boundaries should not be obstacles to trade -- we call it globalization -- should they also not be obstacles to compassion and generosity?
    Should we not begin to consider all children, everywhere, as our own? In that case, war, which in our time is always an assault on children, would be unacceptable as a solution to the problems of the world. Human ingenuity would have to search for other ways.
    Tom Paine used the word "patriot" to describe the rebels resisting imperial rule. He also enlarged the idea of patriotism when he said: "My country is the world. My countrymen are mankind."
    Howard Zinn is an historian and author of A People's History of the United States.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Donald Rumsfeld has his own special sources. Are they reliable?
    Posted 2003-05-05
    They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal--a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans. In the past
    year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has
    brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community. These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September
    11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq. They relied on data gathered by
    other intelligence agencies and also on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, or I.N.C., the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi. By last fall, the
    operation rivalled both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon's own Defense Intelligence Agency, the D.I.A., as President Bush's main source of intelligence regarding Iraq's
    possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al Qaeda. As of last week, no such weapons had been found. And although many people,
    within the Administration and outside it, profess confidence that something will turn up, the integrity of much of that intelligence is now in question.
    The director of the Special Plans operation is Abram Shulsky, a scholarly expert in the works of the political philosopher Leo Strauss. Shulsky has been quietly
    working on intelligence and foreign-policy issues for three decades; he was on the staff of the Senate Intelligence Com-mittee in the early nineteen-eighties and
    served in the Pentagon under Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle during the Reagan Administration, after which he joined the Rand Corporation. The
    Office of Special Plans is overseen by Under-Secretary of Defense William Luti, a retired Navy captain. Luti was an early advocate of military action against Iraq,
    and, as the Administration moved toward war and policymaking power shifted toward the civilians in the Pentagon, he took on increasingly important responsibilities.
    W. Patrick Lang, the former chief of Middle East intelligence at the D.I.A., said, "The Pentagon has banded together to dominate the government's foreign policy,
    and they've pulled it off. They're running Chalabi. The D.I.A. has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And there's no guts at all in the C.I.A."
    The hostility goes both ways. A Pentagon official who works for Luti told me, "I did a job when the intelligence community wasn't doing theirs. We recognized the
    fact that they hadn't done the analysis. We were providing information to Wolfowitz that he hadn't seen before. The intelligence community is still looking for a
    mission like they had in the Cold War, when they spoon-fed the policymakers."
    A Pentagon adviser who has worked with Special Plans dismissed any criticism of the operation as little more than bureaucratic whining. "Shulsky and Luti won the
    policy debate," the adviser said. "They beat 'em--they cleaned up against State and the C.I.A. There's no mystery why they won--because they were more
    effective in making their argument. Luti is smarter than the opposition. Wolfowitz is smarter. They out-argued them. It was a fair fight. They persuaded the
    President of the need to make a new security policy. Those who lose are so good at trying to undercut those who won." He added, "I'd love to be the historian who
    writes the story of how this small group of eight or nine people made the case and won."

    According to the Pentagon adviser, Special Plans was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
    believed to be true--that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear
    weapons that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States.
    Iraq's possible possession of weapons of mass destruction had been a matter of concern to the international community since before the first Gulf War. Saddam
    Hussein had used chemical weapons in the past. At some point, he assembled thousands of chemical warheads, along with biological weapons, and made a serious
    attempt to build a nuclear-weapons program. What has been in dispute is how much of that capacity, if any, survived the 1991 war and the years of United Nations
    inspections, no-fly zones, and sanctions that followed. In addition, since September 11th there have been recurring questions about Iraq's ties to terrorists. A
    February poll showed that seventy-two per cent of Americans believed it was likely that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the September 11th attacks,
    although no definitive evidence of such a connection has been presented.
    Rumsfeld and his colleagues believed that the C.I.A. was unable to perceive the reality of the situation in Iraq. "The agency was out to disprove linkage between
    Iraq and terrorism," the Pentagon adviser told me. "That's what drove them. If you've ever worked with intelligence data, you can see the ingrained views at C.I.A.
    that color the way it sees data." The goal of Special Plans, he said, was "to put the data under the microscope to reveal what the intelligence community can't see.
    Shulsky's carrying the heaviest part."
    Even before September 11th, Richard Perle, who was then the chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, was making a similar argument about the
    intelligence community's knowledge of Iraq's weapons. At a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing in March, 2001, he said, "Does Saddam now have
    weapons of mass destruction? Sure he does. We know he has chemical weapons. We know he has biological weapons. . . . How far he's gone on the
    nuclear-weapons side I don't think we really know. My guess is it's further than we think. It's always further than we think, because we limit ourselves, as we think
    about this, to what we're able to prove and demonstrate. . . . And, unless you believe that we have uncovered everything, you have to assume there is more than
    we're able to report."
    Last October, an article in the Times reported that Rumsfeld had ordered up an intelligence operation "to search for information on Iraq's hostile intentions or links to
    terrorists" that might have been overlooked by the C.I.A. When Rumsfeld was asked about the story at a Pentagon briefing, he was initially vague. "I'm told that
    after September 11th a small group, I think two to start with, and maybe four now . . . were asked to begin poring over this mountain of information that we were
    receiving on intelligence-type things." He went on to say, "You don't know what you don't know. So in comes the daily briefer"--from the C.I.A.--"and she walks
    through the daily brief. And I ask questions. 'Gee, what about this?' or 'What about that? Has somebody thought of this?'" At the same briefing, Rumsfeld said that
    he had already been informed that there was "solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members."
    If Special Plans was going to search for new intelligence on Iraq, the most obvious source was defectors with firsthand knowledge. The office inevitably turned to
    Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress. The I.N.C., an umbrella organization for diverse groups opposed to Saddam, is constantly seeking out Iraqi defectors. The
    Special Plans Office developed a close working relationship with the I.N.C., and this strengthened its position in disputes with the C.I.A. and gave the Pentagon's
    pro-war leadership added leverage in its constant disputes with the State Department. Special Plans also became a conduit for intelligence reports from the I.N.C. to
    officials in the White House.
    There was a close personal bond, too, between Chalabi and Wolfowitz and Perle, dating back many years. Their relationship deepened after the Bush Administration
    took office, and Chalabi's ties extended to others in the Administration, including Rumsfeld; Douglas Feith, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy; and I. Lewis
    Libby, Vice-President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. For years, Chalabi has had the support of prominent members of the American Enterprise Institute and other
    conservatives. Chalabi had some Democratic supporters, too, including James Woolsey, the former head of the C.I.A.
    There was another level to Chalabi's relationship with the United States: in the mid-nineteen-nineties, the C.I.A. was secretly funnelling millions of dollars annually to
    the I.N.C. Those payments ended around 1996, a former C.I.A. Middle East station chief told me, essentially because the agency had doubts about Chalabi's
    integrity. (In 1992, Chalabi was convicted in absentia of bank fraud in Jordan. He has always denied any wrongdoing.) "You had to treat them with suspicion,"
    another former Middle East station chief said of Chalabi's people. "The I.N.C. has a track record of manipulating information because it has an agenda. It's a
    political unit--not an intelligence agency."

    In August, 1995, General Hussein Kamel, who was in charge of Iraq's weapons program, defected to Jordan, with his brother, Colonel Saddam Kamel. They brought
    with them crates of documents containing detailed information about Iraqi efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction--much of which was unknown to the
    U.N. inspection teams that had been on the job since 1991--and were interviewed at length by the U.N. inspectors. In 1996, Saddam Hussein lured the brothers
    back with a promise of forgiveness, and then had them killed. The Kamels' information became a major element in the Bush Administration's campaign to convince
    the public of the failure of the U.N. inspections.
    Last October, in a speech in Cincinnati, the President cited the Kamel defections as the moment when Saddam's regime "was forced to admit that it had produced
    more than thirty thousand liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents. . . . This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted
    for, and is capable of killing millions." A couple of weeks earlier, Vice-President Cheney had declared that Hussein Kamel's story "should serve as a reminder to all
    that we often learned more as the result of defections than we learned from the inspection regime itself."
    The full record of Hussein Kamel's interview with the inspectors reveals, however, that he also said that Iraq's stockpile of chemical and biological warheads, which
    were manufactured before the 1991 Gulf War, had been destroyed, in many cases in response to ongoing inspections. The interview, on August 22, 1995,was
    conducted by Rolf Ekeus, then the executive chairman of the U.N. inspection teams, and two of his senior associates--Nikita Smidovich and Maurizio Zifferaro.
    "You have an important role in Iraq," Kamel said, according to the record, which was assembled from notes taken by Smidovich. "You should not underestimate
    yourself. You are very effective in Iraq." When Smidovich noted that the U.N. teams had not found "any traces of destruction," Kamel responded, "Yes, it was
    done before you came in." He also said that Iraq had destroyed its arsenal of warheads. "We gave instructions not to produce chemical weapons," Kamel explained
    later in the debriefing. "I don't remember resumption of chemical-weapons production before the Gulf War. Maybe it was only minimal production and filling. . . . All
    chemical weapons were destroyed. I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons--biological, chemical, missile, nuclear--were destroyed."
    Kamel also cast doubt on the testimony of Dr. Khidhir Hamza, an Iraqi nuclear scientist who defected in 1994. Hamza settled in the United States with the help of
    the I.N.C. and has been a highly vocal witness concerning Iraq's alleged nuclear ambitions. Kamel told the U.N. interviewers, however, that Hamza was "a
    professional liar." He went on, "He worked with us, but he was useless and always looking for promotions. He consulted with me but could not deliver anything. . . .
    He was even interrogated by a team before he left and was allowed to go."
    After his defection, Hamza became a senior fellow at the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington disarmament group, whose president, David
    Albright, was a former U.N. weapons inspector. In 1998, Albright told me, he and Hamza sent publishers a proposal for a book tentatively entitled "Fizzle: Iraq and
    the Atomic Bomb," which described how Iraq had failed in its quest for a nuclear device. There were no takers, Albright said, and Hamza eventually "started
    exaggerating his experiences in Iraq." The two men broke off contact. In 2000, Hamza published "Saddam's Bombmaker," a vivid account claiming that by 1991,
    when the Gulf War began, Iraq was far closer than had been known to the production of a nuclear weapon. Jeff Stein, a Washington journalist who collaborated on
    the book, told me that Hamza's account was "absolutely on the level, allowing for the fact that any memoir puts the author at the center of events, and therefore
    there is some exaggeration." James Woolsey, the former head of the C.I.A., said of Hamza, "I think highly of him and I have no reason to disbelieve the claims that
    he's made." Hamza could not be reached for comment. On April 26th, according to the Times, he returned to Iraq as a member of a group of exiles designated by
    the Pentagon to help rebuild the country's infrastructure. He is to be responsible for atomic energy.

    The advantages and disadvantages of relying on defectors has been a perennial source of dispute within the American intelligence community--as Shulsky himself
    noted in a 1991 textbook on intelligence that he co-authored. Despite their importance, he wrote, "it is difficult to be certain that they are genuine. . . . The conflicting
    information provided by several major Soviet defectors to the United States . . . has never been completely sorted out; it bedeviled U.S. intelligence for a quarter of a
    century." Defectors can provide unique insight into a repressive system. But such volunteer sources, as Shulsky writes, "may be greedy; they may also be somewhat
    unbalanced people who wish to bring some excitement into their lives; they may desire to avenge what they see as ill treatment by their government; or they may be
    subject to blackmail." There is a strong incentive to tell interviewers what they want to hear.
    With the Pentagon's support, Chalabi's group worked to put defectors with compelling stories in touch with reporters in the United States and Europe. The resulting
    articles had dramatic accounts of advances in weapons of mass destruction or told of ties to terrorist groups. In some cases, these stories were disputed in analyses
    by the C.I.A. Misstatements and inconsistencies in I.N.C. defector accounts were also discovered after the final series of U.N. weapons inspections, which ended a
    few days before the American assault. Dr. Glen Rangwala, a lecturer in political science at Cambridge University, compiled and examined the information that had
    been made public and concluded that the U.N. inspections had failed to find evidence to support the defectors' claims.
    For example, many newspapers published extensive interviews with Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, a civil engineer who, with the I.N.C.'s help, fled Iraq in 2001, and
    subsequently claimed that he had visited twenty hidden facilities that he believed were built for the production of biological and chemical weapons. One, he said, was
    underneath a hospital in Baghdad. Haideri was apparently a source for Secretary of State Colin Powell's claim, in his presentation to the United Nations Security
    Council on February 5th, that the United States had "firsthand descriptions" of mobile factories capable of producing vast quantities of biological weapons. The U.N.
    teams that returned to Iraq last winter were unable to verify any of al-Haideri's claims. In a statement to the Security Council in March, on the eve of war, Hans
    Blix, the U.N.'s chief weapons inspector, noted that his teams had physically examined the hospital and other sites with the help of ground-penetrating radar
    equipment. "No underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far," he said.
    Almost immediately after September 11th, the I.N.C. began to publicize the stories of defectors who claimed that they had information connecting Iraq to the
    attacks. In an interview on October 14, 2001, conducted jointly by the Times and "Frontline," the public-television program, Sabah Khodada, an Iraqi Army captain,
    said that the September 11th operation "was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam," and that Iraq had a program to instruct terrorists in the art of
    hijacking. Another defector, who was identified only as a retired lieutenant general in the Iraqi intelligence service, said that in 2000 he witnessed Arab students being
    given lessons in hijacking on a Boeing 707 parked at an Iraqi training camp near the town of Salman Pak, south of Baghdad.
    In separate interviews with me, however, a former C.I.A. station chief and a former military intelligence analyst said that the camp near Salman Pak had been built
    not for terrorism training but for counter-terrorism training. In the mid-eighties, Islamic terrorists were routinely hijacking aircraft. In 1986, an Iraqi airliner was seized
    by pro-Iranian extremists and crashed, after a hand grenade was triggered, killing at least sixty-five people. (At the time, Iran and Iraq were at war, and America
    favored Iraq.) Iraq then sought assistance from the West, and got what it wanted from Britain's MI6. The C.I.A. offered similar training in counter-terrorism
    throughout the Middle East. "We were helping our allies everywhere we had a liaison," the former station chief told me. Inspectors recalled seeing the body of an
    airplane--which appeared to be used for counter-terrorism training--when they visited a biological-weapons facility near Salman Pak in 1991, ten years before
    September 11th. It is, of course, possible for such a camp to be converted from one purpose to another. The former C.I.A. official noted, however, that terrorists
    would not practice on airplanes in the open. "That's Hollywood rinky-dink stuff," the former agent said. "They train in basements. You don't need a real airplane to
    practice hijacking. The 9/11 terrorists went to gyms. But to take one back you have to practice on the real thing."
    Salman Pak was overrun by American troops on April 6th. Apparently, neither the camp nor the former biological facility has yielded evidence to substantiate the
    claims made before the war.

    A former Bush Administration intelligence official recalled a case in which Chalabi's group, working with the Pentagon, produced a defector from Iraq who was
    interviewed overseas by an agent from the D.I.A. The agent relied on an interpreter supplied by Chalabi's people. Last summer, the D.I.A. report, which was
    classified, was leaked. In a detailed account, the London Times described how the defector had trained with Al Qaeda terrorists in the late nineteen-nineties at secret
    camps in Iraq, how the Iraqis received instructions in the use of chemical and biological weapons, and how the defector was given a new identity and relocated. A
    month later, however, a team of C.I.A. agents went to interview the man with their own interpreter. "He says, 'No, that's not what I said,'" the former intelligence
    official told me. "He said, 'I worked at a fedayeen camp; it wasn't Al Qaeda.' He never saw any chemical or biological training." Afterward, the former official
    said, "the C.I.A. sent out a piece of paper saying that this information was incorrect. They put it in writing." But the C.I.A. rebuttal, like the original report, was
    classified. "I remember wondering whether this one would leak and correct the earlier, invalid leak. Of course, it didn't."
    The former intelligence official went on, "One of the reasons I left was my sense that they were using the intelligence from the C.I.A. and other agencies only when
    it fit their agenda. They didn't like the intelligence they were getting, and so they brought in people to write the stuff. They were so crazed and so far out and so
    difficult to reason with--to the point of being bizarre. Dogmatic, as if they were on a mission from God." He added, "If it doesn't fit their theory, they don't want to
    accept it."

    (Paragraphs deleted, link will allow entire article)
    The rising influence of the Office of Special Plans has been accompanied by a decline in the influence of the C.I.A. and the D.I.A. One internal Pentagon
    memorandum went so far as to suggest that terrorism experts in the government and outside it had deliberately "downplayed or sought to disprove" the link between
    Al Qaeda and Iraq. "For many years, there has been a bias in the intelligence community" against defectors, the memorandum said. It urged that two analysts
    working with Shulsky be given the authority to "investigate linkages to Iraq" by having access to the "proper debriefing of key Iraqi defectors."
    A former C.I.A. task-force leader who is a consultant to the Bush Administration said that many analysts in the C.I.A. are convinced that the Chalabi group's
    defector reports on weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda have produced little of value, but said that the agency "is not fighting it." He said that the D.I.A. had
    studied the information as well. "Even the D.I.A. can't find any value in it." (The Pentagon, asked for comment, denied that there had been disputes between the
    C.I.A. and Special Plans over the validity of intelligence.)
    In interviews, former C.I.A. officers and analysts described the agency as increasingly demoralized. "George knows he's being beaten up," one former officer said
    of George Tenet, the C.I.A. director. "And his analysts are terrified. George used to protect his people, but he's been forced to do things their way." Because the
    C.I.A.'s analysts are now on the defensive, "they write reports justifying their intelligence rather than saying what's going on. The Defense Department and the
    Office of the Vice-President write their own pieces, based on their own ideology. We collect so much stuff that you can find anything you want."
    "They see themselves as outsiders, " a former C.I.A. expert who spent the past decade immersed in Iraqi-exile affairs said of the Special Plans people. He added,
    "There's a high degree of paranoia. They've convinced themselves that they're on the side of angels, and everybody else in the government is a fool."

    More than a year's worth of increasingly bitter debate over the value and integrity of the Special Plans intelligence came to a halt in March, when President Bush
    authorized the war against Iraq. After a few weeks of fighting, Saddam Hussein's regime collapsed, leaving American forces to declare victory against a backdrop
    of disorder and uncertainty about the country's future.
    Chalabi is not the only point of contention, however. The failure, as of last week, to find weapons of mass destruction in places where the Pentagon's sources
    confidently predicted they would be found has reanimated the debate on the quality of the office's intelligence.
    Since then, there have been a number of false alarms and a tip that weapons may have been destroyed in the last days before the war, but no solid evidence. On
    April 22nd, Hans Blix, hours before he asked the U.N. Security Council to send his team back to Iraq, told the BBC, "I think it's been one of the disturbing elements
    that so much of the intelligence on which the capitals built their case seemed to have been so shaky."
    There is little self-doubt or second-guessing in the Pentagon over the failure to immediately find the weapons. The Pentagon adviser to Special Plans told me he
    believed that the delay "means nothing. We've got to wait to get all the answers from Iraqi scientists who will tell us where they are." Similarly, the Pentagon official
    who works for Luti said last week, "I think they're hidden in the mountains or transferred to some friendly countries. Saddam had enough time to move them." There
    were suggestions from the Pentagon that Saddam might be shipping weapons over the border to Syria. "It's bait and switch," the former high-level intelligence
    official said. "Bait them into Iraq with weapons of mass destruction. And, when they aren't found, there's this whole ******** about the weapons being in Syria."
    In Congress, a senior legislative aide said, "Some members are beginning to ask and to wonder, but cautiously." For now, he told me, "the members don't have the
    confidence to say that the Administration is off base." He also commented, "For many, it makes little difference. We vanquished a bad guy and liberated the Iraqi

    Weapons may yet be found. Iraq is a big country, as the Administration has repeatedly pointed out in recent weeks. In a speech last week, President Bush said,
    "We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated." Meanwhile, if the American
    advance hasn't uncovered stashes of weapons of mass destruction, it has turned up additional graphic evidence of the brutality of the regime. But Saddam Hussein's
    cruelty was documented long before September 11th, and was not the principal reason the Bush Administration gave to the world for the necessity of war.
    Former Senator Bob Kerrey, a Democrat who served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has been a strong supporter of the President's decision to overthrow
    Saddam. "I do think building a democratic secular state in Iraq justifies everything we've done," Kerrey, who is now president of New School University, in New
    York, told me. "But they've taken the intelligence on weapons and expanded it beyond what was justified." Speaking of the hawks, he said, "It appeared that they
    understood that to get the American people on their side they needed to come up with something more to say than 'We've liberated Iraq and got rid of a tyrant.' So
    they had to find some ties to weapons of mass destruction and were willing to allow a majority of Americans to incorrectly conclude that the invasion of Iraq had
    something to do with the World Trade Center. Overemphasizing the national-security threat made it more difficult to get the rest of the world on our side. It was the
    weakest and most misleading argument we could use." Kerrey added, "It appears that they have the intelligence. The problem is, they didn't like the conclusions."
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    May 8, 2003

    Look to Iran for the Real Costs of the War in Iraq

    By Ivan Eland*

    The Bush administration is apparently astonished and concerned to learn that Iran has hastened its drive to get nuclear weapons. Would an American military presence in
    neighboring nations on two sides of that country--in Iraq and Afghanistan--have anything to do with that acceleration? Countries like Iran (and Libya, Syria and the many
    other nations seeking weapons of mass destruction) noted that the United States invaded Iraq--a nation without nuclear weapons--but treated North Korea--a nation that
    went out of its way to inform the United States about its possession of nuclear weapons--much more gingerly. If you were an Iranian leadership what would you do?

    Perhaps the main reason the neo-conservatives, both inside and outside the Bush administration, pressed for an invasion of Iraq was to achieve a "demonstration effect."
    Their thinking was that other rogue nations (Syria and Iran in particular) would be intimidated and improve their behavior. On the surface, there are some signs of
    increased cooperation with the United States on the part of Iran (helping out in Afghanistan and offering to assist with any downed American aircraft in the recent war
    with Iraq) and Syria (pledges to close the offices of anti-Israeli groups). But, in secret, those nations are most likely racing as fast as they can to obtain weapons of mass
    destruction--to keep the United States from doing to them what it did to Saddam Hussein's regime. The apparent acceleration of Iran's covert nuclear program proves
    that the Iraq war's intended demonstration effect has turned into a "proliferation effect."

    President Bush has said, "One of the things we must do is work together to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is a major issue that faces the world
    and it is an issue on which the United States will still lead." Yet the administration's aggressive counter-proliferation policy of launching of "pre-emptive" attacks against
    states that are attempting to gain or possess weapons of mass destruction is backfiring. War on Iraq or not, proliferating nations know that U.S. public opinion will not
    support wars on the many countries that are developing or have such super weapons. Before Gulf War II, the Pentagon noted that 10 nuclear programs, 13 countries
    with biological weapons, 16 nations with chemical weapons, and 28 countries with ballistic missiles were either existing or emerging threats to the United States and its
    allies. So chances are good, that if countries conduct such programs in secret and bury or hide the facilities to secure them from U.S. air strikes, they can eventually
    obtain weapons whose technology is now fairly old. Aggressive U.S. military actions around the world merely motivate thuggish regimes to redouble their efforts to get
    super weapons faster.

    The intimidation strategy against rogue states has backfired in the past. The larger than life neo-conservative myth of their icon, President Ronald Reagan, dissuading
    Moammar Qaddafi of Libya from terrorist acts by bombing his tent is just that. After the 1986 air strikes, the historical record indicates that Qaddafi accelerated his
    terrorism, but merely did it more covertly or contracted it out to independent terrorist groups. The large number of Americans killed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight
    103 over Lockerbie, Scotland alone should have dispelled that myth. Similarly, intimidation will probably not curb fearful rogue states from trying to improve their chances
    of survival by developing super weapons. Even though rogue states are despotic they do have legitimate fears of attacks by regional foes and now the United States.

    Given the large number of nations that are working on weapons of mass destruction (particularly nuclear weapons), the United States may have to accept the unpleasant
    fact that some unsavory regimes might have them or get them. The good news is that most of those nations are poor and can afford no more than a few nuclear
    warheads. The bone-crushing dominance of the U.S. nuclear arsenal--with thousands of warheads--should be able to deter such countries from launching an attack on
    the United States. Leaders from rogue nations are often portrayed in the U.S. media as irrational and incapable of being deterred from attacks against the United States,
    but have acquired, in their ascent to power in their own nations, the pragmatism of many politicians. In fact, if the United States refrained from unnecessary military
    interventions in the backwater regions of most of the rogue nations, those nations would have no cause to launch such weapons against the faraway United States in the
    first place.

    But President Bush has taken the opposite road of profligate and unneeded military interventions. The American public and media have basked in the glow of old glory
    being draped over the statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But the unseemly downside of such American military adventurism may lie hidden in deeply buried bunkers in
    nations like Iran.