The Flimflam

Still think you are not being flimflammed by the Bush administration? Take heed of this: Newsweek has reported that Hussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect and Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, told the United Nations, the CIA and Britain’s MI-6 in 1995 that Iraq destroyed all of its chemical and biological stocks, as well as the missiles to deliver them, in 1991.

Yet the U.N. arms inspectors, the CIA and MI-6 chose to keep that secret. If it’s true — and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t — then it’s pretty hard evidence that the Bush administration is lying through its teeth when it keeps insisting that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. It also bolsters the credibility of former chief arms inspector Scott Ritter, who has likewise insisted that Iraq’s weapons were destroyed. For that matter, it bolsters the credibility of the Iraqi government, which insists it no longer has any weapons of mass destruction.

You might recall that Kamel defected to Jordan and about six months later made the mistake of returning to Iraq, where he was killed. This coming war with Iraq gets murkier and murkier. Let’s see if we can sort it out.

First, we have a chief executive so naive about the world outside of Texas, he probably couldn’t find a lot of countries on a map. Second, he has surrounded himself with American Likudniks — supporters of Israel’s right-wing government. Even The Washington Post reported recently what I’ve been saying for months: that Bush’s policy is identical to that of Ariel Sharon’s, the Israeli prime minister. I’ve said that Bush has been acting like Sharon’s puppet; The Washington Post story quoted a U.S. official as saying Sharon has “played Bush like a violin.”

The Israelis have long feared Iraq, Iran and North Korea (because they fear it will sell missiles to Iran). What a coincidence that those three countries are Bush’s “axis of evil.”

Before Bush’s election, Dick Cheney (now vice president), John Bolton (now undersecretary of state for arms control), Douglas Feith (now third-highest-ranking official in the Defense Department), Richard Perle (now chairman of the Defense Policy Board) and James Woolsey (former CIA director) all had one thing in common: They served as advisers to the pro-Israeli Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. This is according to an article that appeared in the magazine The Nation. Bush recently appointed as director of Middle Eastern affairs for the National Security Council Elliott Abrams, a protégé of Perle and a man convicted of lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1996, according to an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Perle, Feith and David Wurmser, now an assistant to Bolton, wrote a policy proposal for Benjamin Netanyahu, then Israel’s prime minister. Included in their advice were tips on how to manipulate the American government (OK, even the Haaretz reporter says the report comes “dangerously close” to dual loyalty) and advice to drop the peace plan, drop the idea of land for peace and concentrate on toppling Saddam Hussein and eventually replacing other Middle Eastern governments in order to create a safe environment for Israel.

There’s your explanation for the war. When sons and daughters come home in body bags or maimed, those are the people you can blame. Others in this group — who formed an outfit called the Project for the New American Century in 1997 that also called for toppling Saddam — include, in addition to most of those named above, Donald Rumsfeld; William Kristol, editor of the neoconservative Weekly Standard; Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld’s No. 2 guy; William Bennett, the best the neocons can do for an intellectual; Richard Armitage, now Colin Powell’s deputy; Zalmay Khalilzad, now ambassador to Afghanistan; and others.

If you watch the silly cable-news shows, you will recognize many of these names as part of the parade of “experts” in favor of war with Iraq. The American people are being played for suckers. Their sons and daughters will be cannon fodder in a war that might benefit a foreign country but will greatly damage the interests of our own.

King Features Syndicate

http://reese.king-online.com/Reese_20030305/index.php