By Chris Floyd -
October 15, 2003.
On March 17, 2003, George W. Bush appeared before the American people to announce that he had ordered the invasion of Iraq. In a short speech, Bush declared that there was "no doubt" that Saddam Hussein possessed a storehouse of weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent threat to the security of the United States and the world.
| "The rule of law is dead."|
"Remember, he's asserted the right to imprison or even kill any American citizen he
designates an 'enemy'."
This was offered as a
straightforward and unambiguous statement of fact, unqualified by
any caveats. It was, of course, a blood libel, the culmination of an
intensive propaganda campaign designed to whip up war fever in the
populace with lurid images of Saddamite nukes mushrooming in
Manhattan and robot spy drones spraying anthrax all over Boise,
Idaho. Later, with the bloodletting underway, chief warlord Don
Rumsfeld, bolstered this iron certainty about the existence of
Iraq's fearsome weapons, announcing forthrightly: "We know where they are."
He even pinpointed the location: "the area around Tikrit," Saddam's
hometown. Again, there was no ambiguity, no doubts, no
Then last week, the Bush
Regime's own CIA hireling, David Kay, leader of the search for
Saddam's smoking guns, confirmed what the rest of the world has
known for months: there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
There was not even an active program to develop them. In the face of
these facts, the Bushists -- and the lapdogs they keep kenneled on
that little island north of France -- were reduced to making the
ludicrous argument that their war of aggression was justified by
Kay's alleged discovery of some evidence that Saddam had a plan to
one day re-start a weapons program that could have led to the
development of WMD somewhere down the line. This assumed, of course,
that any such new capabilities would not have been immediately
destroyed by the ongoing Anglo-American bombing campaign against
Iraq (which raged unabated for 12 years) or taken out in a limited
strike like the 1998 Desert Fox operation, or -- and here's a novel
idea -- circumvented by the presence of United Nations inspectors
crawling all over the country.
In fact, there were many
options short of war that could have been taken had Saddam actually
possessed any WMD. Kay's report, along with dozens of pre-war
intelligence concerns that have since come to light, show clearly
that there was absolutely no justification for launching a
full-scale conquest of Iraq in mid-March 2003. Even by the barbaric
standards of the Bush Regime, which holds -- in contravention of
international law and American tradition -- that aggressive war is
justified under certain conditions, the invasion of Iraq was a
wanton criminal act. Their own evidence proves that their own
conditions were not met. Even by their own lights, the Bushists
cannot justify the decision to go to war in March.
No, that particular date was
chosen for one reason only: to get the long-planned conquest of Iraq
out of the way before George W. Bush's presidential campaign next
year. Thus, every Coalition soldier killed in Iraq has died solely
for the personal aggrandizement of George W. Bush. Every one of the
estimated 30,000 innocent Iraqi civilians killed in the invasion
(according to a detailed body count carried out by an anti-Saddam
Iraqi dissident group) died for the personal aggrandizement of
George W. Bush. And the soldiers and civilians go on dying, day
All this blood and destruction
so that Bush might remain in power, and dole out the plunder of two
nations -- Iraq and America -- to the gilded corporate mafia he
represents. And now the greatest prize in the history of the world
beckons: domination of the world's oil reserves, precisely at the
point when the rising, insatiable demand for oil is about to exceed
the remaining supply. Nations will be increasingly desperate,
willing to pay any price -- financial and political -- to those who
control access to the precious, dwindling resource.
For the criminal mind, this is
indeed a prize worth lying for, worth cheating for, worth killing
tens of thousands of innocent people for. And as often noted here, a
gang that doesn't blanche at aggressive war will certainly have no
scruples about subverting the political process -- by any means
necessary, even violence -- to maintain their power.
Yet the political fate of
George W. Bush is insignificant. What matters now is the fate of the
Republic itself. Always an imperfect instrument -- as are all human
constructions -- and buffeted by decades of militarization and vast
corruption, the Republic nevertheless has served as a vehicle to
carry forward some of the best instincts and noblest aspirations of
our fragile, conflicted and unstable human nature. But Bush has
crossed the Rubicon. He has taken the worst aspects of U.S. society
to unprecedented extremes, breaking down the already-weakened civic
and social structures of the Republic. The center will not hold; the
rule of law will be replaced by the rule of shock and awe, the rule
of arbitrary force, rampant corruption, witless diversion, sugared
piety, aggressive nationalism and empty pomp. These perverted values
are already ascendant in American public life today.
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With Bush's criminal war and
autocratic decrees -- remember, he's asserted the right to imprison
or even kill any American citizen he designates an "enemy" -- the
traditional restraints on arbitrary power have been broken, and the
pattern of lawless tyranny established. Even if Bush himself should
fall, someone else -- perhaps more charming, clever, capable,
seductive: a true Caesar instead of a clownish thug -- will step in
and take these developments to their inevitable conclusion.