It’s all out in the open now. The fact that the president of the United States and his top advisers deliberately concocted a false case for an illegal and unnecessary war — in plain terms, that they committed cold-blooded, premeditated mass murder — was confirmed last week by the most impeccable mainstream sources: George W. Bush’s own Cabinet officials, speaking for the record in America’s major media.
Remarkably, the “extremist views” and “paranoia” of the “lunatic fringe” — those “Bush-bashers” who for months proclaimed that the Regime’s lust to conquer Iraq was part of a long-planned scheme of looting and dominance that had nothing to do with September 11, 2001 or defending America from terror — are now issuing from the mouths of the Regime’s inner circle.
Secretary of State Colin Powell led the way. Powell, a pathetic bagman who began his career with a botched job of whitewashing war crimes in Vietnam (the My Lai massacre) and is ending it with a botched job of whitewashing war crimes in Iraq, admitted that there was no evidence of any past collusion between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, The New York Times reports. Although the “very real” threat of Saddam passing on his vast arsenal of technodeath to Osama bin Laden was the most effective tool in the Regime’s “sales program” for war, resonating viscerally with an American public still reeling from September 11, the genial general — who loudly trumpeted this “threat” at the UN — now says it was never anything more than a worrisome “possibility” without any basis in fact.
As well he might. For even had the mythical alliance of Bush bogeymen actually existed, that “vast arsenal of technodeath” did not. There were no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to pass on; there were not even any active programs to develop WMD. This has long been obvious from reading between the lines of the reports of Bush’s own weapon-hunters, but it was finally made manifest in an extraordinary report last week in The Washington Post.
There, leaders of Bush’s CIA-directed weapons search team admitted publicly that Iraq’s WMD program was shattered in the first Gulf War — 13 years ago — and its remnants completely dismantled in 1995. This was, of course, long-known (and oft-reported by “Bush-bashers”) before the latest war — indeed, it was even reported in the mainstream media years ago, which is where the paranoiacs on the lunatic fringe found it, in easily accessible archives and Congressional reports. But it was conveniently forgotten in the profitable, corporate-driven war fever before the invasion. Now, after the murder of thousands of innocent people, including almost 500 American soldiers, the truth re-emerges — again from the mouths of Bush’s own hirelings.
Then came the revelations of Paul O’Neill, Bush’s treasury secretary until December 2002. In a nationally televised interview, O’Neill confirmed that Bush and his minions were planning the invasion of Iraq from the moment they took office — months before 9-11. “[It was] the president saying, ‘Go find me a way to do this,’” said O’Neill, whose eye-openers are featured in a new book by Ron Suskind of the archconservative Wall Street Journal.
Although the Regime’s hatchet men are now desperately downplaying O’Neill’s importance, questioning his sanity, even threatening to prosecute him, he was very much in the leadership loop: a member of the powerful National Security Council, privy to top-secret intelligence. He says he never saw “anything in the intelligence that I would characterize as real evidence” of an Iraqi threat — just a muddy stream of “assertions and illusions.” Suskind also unearthed early Bushist memos detailing the predators’ postwar designs for Iraq, including extensive military occupation and — in March 2001 — plans for parceling out Iraq’s oil wealth to favored corporations and foreign allies, CBSNews.com reports.
Again, this is old news for lunatic fringers. As often reported here, the Cheney-Rumsfeld pressure group, Project for the New American Century, long ago outlined its program for America’s “full spectrum dominance” over the globe, with the planting of a “military footprint” throughout oil-rich Central Asia and the Middle East. Indeed, conquering Iraq was an imperative that “transcended the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein,” said PNAC; whether he was there or not, whether the Iraqi people needed “liberating” or not, the invasion would go forward. PNAC, whose members now fill the Regime’s upper ranks, also yearned openly for a “new Pearl Harbor,” a devastating sneak attack that would “catalyze” public support for the group’s “revolutionary transformation” of American society into a militarized aggressor state.
This is no “conspiracy theory.” PNAC’s maniacal manifesto was published in broad daylight in September 2000 — but was ignored by that same corporatized American media that later proved so helpfully amnesiac after the “new Pearl Harbor” was launched by the CIA’s old allies from the Afghan jihad, led by a scion of the Bush family’s business partners, the bin Ladens. (This long-documented family connection was detailed by Republican strategist and former Nixon aide Kevin Phillips in the Los Angeles Times last week — yet another belated mainstreaming of the “lunatic fringe.”)
Thus the Regime’s shifting rationales for war — terror threats, WMD, concern for the Iraqi people — have now been publicly exposed, by the Bushists themselves as nothing more than lies, flimsy excuses to commit murder for power and gain. Where, then, is the “fringe,” that blighted place beyond the pale of reason and human decency?
Who, then, are the lunatics?