Friday, March 24, 2023

Worse Than Trump: The Invasion of Iraq Twenty Years On

     "The hypocrisy in . . . . the Bush administration's overall national security strategy - is monumental. If having weapons of mass destruction and a history of using them is a criteria, then surely the United States must pose the greatest threat to humanity that has ever existed . . . While the U.S. is massively expanding its biological weapons research capabilities - for example by upgrading its bioresearch facilities at the Livermore and Los Alamos nuclear weapons labs to aerosolize live anthrax and genetically modify bio-organisms - it is blocking a protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention that would allow international inspectors into U.S. facilities." 

---------Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation

    "There are well over 90 UN Security Council resolutions that are currently being violated by countries other than Iraq. The vast majority of these resolutions are being violated by allies of the United States that receive U.S. military, economic, and diplomatic support. Indeed, the U.S. has effectively blocked the UN Security Council from enforcing these resolutions against its allies." 

-----Stephen Zunes, Associate Professor of Politics, University of San Francisco

    "In his [President Bush's] speech to the nation on Oct. 7, he said 'America is a friend of the people of Iraq.' Try telling that to a friend of mine in Baghdad who walked out of his house following a U.S. bomb attack to find his neighbor's head rolling down the street; or to a taxi driver I met whose four-year-old child shook uncontrollably for three days following Clinton's 1998 'Monicagate' bombing diversion. Try telling it to the mother of Omran ibn Jwair, whom I met in the village of Toq al-Ghazzalat after a U.S. missile killed her 13-year-old son while he was tending sheep in the field. Try telling it to the hundreds of mothers I have seen crying over their dying babies in Iraqi hospitals, and to the hundreds of thousands of parents who have actually lost their infant children due to the cruel U.S. blockdade, euphemistically called 'sanctions.'"

-----James Jennings, President, Conscience International 

". . . the establishment of the 'no-fly zones' violated Iraq's sovereignty, something explicitly guaranteed by every Security Council resolution on Iraq. The infiltration of spies into Unscom . . . was a further violation of the inspections process - and among the information they collected was anything that could help target Saddam Hussein for assassination, in violation of both international law and domestic executive order . . . . the U.S. used (weapons) inspections explicitly to provoke crises . . . ."

-----Rahul Mahajan, author, The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism

    " . . . a unilateral attack by the United States and the United Kingdom against Iraq without further authorization from the Security Council would still remain illegal and therefore constitute aggression. In recognition of this fact, British government officials are already reportedly fearful of prosecution by the International Criminal Court. And the Bush Jr. administration is doing everything humanly possible to sabotage the ICC in order to avoid any prospect of ICC prosecution of high-level U.S. government officials over a war against Iraq. Lawyers call this 'consciousness of guilt.'"

----Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law, University of Illinois, College of Law

    "Claims of a threat posed by Iraq to international peace and security are entirely untenable. Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet refuted Bush's claims in a letter to the Senate, where he said clearly the threat of an Iraqi WMD attack was virtually nonexistent, except possibly in the eventuality of a U.S. war for 'regime change.' Nobody claims Iraq has nuclear weapons, nobody has produced any evidence that Iraq is capable of weaponizing biological agents, and it's quite clear that Iraq can have no more than a nominal chemical weapons capability."

----Rahul Mahajan, author, The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism

    " . . . the U.S. government has repeatedly stated that it would continue the economic sanctions even if Iraq were to fully comply with the weapons inspectors. This means the U.S. policy over the last decade gave a disincentive for Iraqi compliance with the weapons inspectors and ensured an indefinite continuation of the devastating economic sanctions with no legitimate cause."

-----Sam Husseini, Communications Director, Institute For Public Accuracy

    "Although it's true that Iraq has repeatedly restricted access, its degree of compliance is very high - far higher than the compliance of most nations with regard to binding decisions like Security Council resolutions or judgments of the International Court of Justice. Israel, for example, is in violation of numerous Security Council resolutions with no attempt at progress toward compliance. The United States vetoes Security Council resolutions directed against it, as it did with a resolution against its invasion of Panama, and it completely ignored a ruling by the International Court of Justice to cease its terrorist operations against Nicaragua and to pay $17 billion in restitution."

----Rahul Mahajan, author, The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism

    "Language finding Iraq already in 'material breach' and being given 'a final opportunity' to come clean is a rather ominous way of predetermining the outcome . . ."

-----James Jennings, President, Conscience International

    "We must not forget what this [UN Security Council Resolution 1441] does not do. It does not authorize the United States to go to war against Iraq. Despite claims to the contrary by the United States, that can only happen by means of a second resolution. The UN Charter requires specific and unambiguous authorization for the use of force; it is for the Security Council and not the United States to decide the consequences of any failure to implement resolutions."

----Michael Ratner, President, Center For Constitutional Rights

    "Since Bush came to office, the United States government has torn up more international treaties and disregarded more UN conventions than the rest of the world has in twenty years. It has scuppered the biological weapons convention while experimenting, illegally, with biological weapons of its own. It has refused to grant chemical weapons inspectors full access to its laboratories, and has destroyed attempts to launch chemical inspections in Iraq. It has ripped up the antiballistic missile treaty, and appears to be ready to violate the nuclear test ban treaty. It has permitted CIA hit squads, to recommence covert operations of the kind that included, in the past, the assassination of foreign heads of state. It has sabotaged the small arms treaty, undermined the international criminal court, refused to sign the climate change protocol and, last month, sought to immobilize the UN convention against torture."

                --------George Monbiot, The Guardian

    "All he [UN weapons inspector Hans Blix] can know is the results (sic) of his own investigations. And that does not prove Saddam does not have weapons of mass destruction."

-----Richard Perle, Chairman, Defense Policy Board

    "What it would prove would be that the inspection process had been successfully defeated by the Iraqis."

----Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, on what a lack of evidence of Iraqi WMDs would prove

     "If they [the Iraqis] turn on their radars we're going to blow up their goddamn SAMs. They know we own their country. We own their airspace . . . . .We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need."

-------U.S. Brigadier General William Looney, 1996 

    "Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out."

------President George Bush to Condoleezza Rice


General Looney quote: William Blum, Rogue State - A Guide To The World's Only Superpower, (Common Courage, 2000) p. 159

Zunes quotes from Stephen Zunes, Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism, (Common Courage, 2003)

GW Bush quote: Time Magazine, May 13, 2002, "We're Taking Him Out"

Remaining quotes from Norman Solomon and Reese Erlich, Target Iraq: What The News Media Don't Tell You, (Context Books, 2003) pps. 5, 51, 54, 71, 97-8, 142-86 passim.

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