“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
President Theodore Roosevelt
When did we become a nation that stopped questioning, swallowing whole the information we are fed?
On February 5th 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the US evidence against Iraq to the United Nations Security Council. Having attacked the cradle of civilization’s’ lack of advancement in modern society, the US now acknowledges that Iraq is really so technologically advanced that thousands of tons of weapons can be hidden, escaping the world’s combined intelligence systems.
U.N. Resolution 1441 states that omissions constitute a breach of obligations. With emphatic gesticulation and theatrical tonality, Powell made thorough use of legerdemain when stating the US case for war. But 1441 also demands that if the US has evidence of weapons, it is compelled to share this information to the inspectors. We must ask why this was not done.
An Al-Queda captive who no doubt would spin any tale for an extra blanket and a cup of coffee provided the Al-Queda/Iraq link. This is seemingly sufficient to warrant carpet-bombing millions of Iraqi civilians by a factor of 8 to the Hiroshima bomb, according to Pentagon plans. Ironic that we must now trust a terrorist prisoner rather than the UN weapons inspectors.
Anthrax is missing; its potency dramatically demonstrated when Powell held up a vial full of powder. Yet Iraq had only liquid anthrax, which has a shelf life of approximately 4 years. Did Saddam Hussein order the residual unusable anthrax dumped in to the Euphrates?
Biological and chemical weapons were provided by the US to Iraq when Saddam was our ally during the Iran-Iraq War. Why omit that during the Gulf War the US used napalm, cluster bombs, fuel-air explosives, and super-bombs on Iraqis, against international law?
Oft repeated is how Saddam Hussein gassed his own people. Yet a CIA senior political analyst who witnessed the bodies confirmed that the Kurds were killed by cyanide, not mustard, gas é the Iranian chemical weapon of choice.
Iraq has empty warheads but in truth they are merely casings void of weapons. We are told that “materials” have been evacuated; what are these materials? Where are the contents of the cargo trucks leaving these buildings? We are shown a Mirage jet spraying “simulated anthrax”; why are we not told this is harmless liquid? Mobile research labs traverse the desert dispensing medical treatments. Colorfully presented instead as weapons units, where are the photographs of their true purpose? And why claim that the weapons inspectors were kicked out of Iraq in 1998 when in fact the UN withdrew them?
When the UN weapons inspectors were in the area containing buried weapons, why did US not alert them to the hidden cache on their right as they drove past? Although, would there be much logic in destroying the efficacy of chemical and biological weapons by burying them in unregulated temperature- unstable mounds of sand?
The nefarious dual-use weapons include pencil lead, chlorine, and paper, as paper manufacturing machines “could be” used for alternative purposes. The aluminum tubes Iraq was accused of procuring for nuclear weapons’ use have been clarified as parts for legitimate rocket launchers.
Why are sources not named and intercepted telephone calls not specified? Incorrectly translated was “wireless messages”: it is “messages wireless” in Arabic, “wireless” being repeated as a reminder of the last word. Do we question the accuracy of these intercepts? Why do we not have calls of Saddam Hussein himself telling his ministers to lie?
The US has relied upon two Iraqi defectors for its nuclear intelligence information. Dr. Khidir Hamza is frequently on television as previous head of Iraq’s nuclear programme, touting his book. Yet Dr. Hamza was never in charge of the nuclear programme, left Iraq in 1994, admitted to fabrications, and is a paid and protected informant for the US government. The second defector, Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, is a building contractor. Currently the Iraqi Opposition Party is sheltering him outside of Iraq.
We are to trust that there is a “nexus” between Al-Queda and Iraq because a camp in northeastern Iraq is housing Al Queda members who fled Afghanistan. If operational, why has it not been destroyed? This self controlled Kurdish region opposes Saddam Hussein; in protecting the Kurds does the US not also protect terrorists? Al-Queda in Baghdad mean little, or do we forget that the largest concentration of Al-Queda terrorists have been arrested in England and Germany? The US harbored the 9/11 suicide bombers, provided them passports and safe haven; why do we not target the other 57 countries Al-Queda has penetrated?
Like Bush’s State of the Union address on January 28th, Powell’s speech was full of possibly, could, may, and perhaps. War will be based upon suppositions, theories, and a chance that the evidence presented “might” be used. The burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused.
In its own endless quest to destroy Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush is taking the country to war. Failure to question ones’ leaders will cause a heavy price to be paid…all for mystery and allegations.
Tanya C. Hsu is British, lives in the US, and is a writer of Middle Eastern politics. She is also a staff member of Palestine Media Watch. Currently she is working on two books on the people of Palestine. She contributed above article to Media Monitors Network.