Saturday, May 22, 2004
America deserves better #2
In my last letter I noted that five events over a few days finally
pushed me to act. I would like to tell you about a couple of them.
1)Paul O'Neil, in an interview on "60 Minutes" told us that the Bush
administration were discussing the need to act on Iraq from their first
cabinet meeting, long before 9/11, and not in the context of a war on
terror. (Paul O'Neil has served 3 Republican administrations and gives the
impression of being naively honest). While that comes as no surprise to me,
it does show how deceitful this administration has been and continues to be.
The administration is dominated by two interests, both malign. The
less dangerous is a small but powerful subset of "big business", and I say that
as one who spent his career in big business. The more dangerous is a group
of ideologues described politely as the Neocons (Neoconservatives), and
pejoratively as the Chicken Hawks. Their organization is The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) (http://www.newamericancentury.org/) and their think tank is The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) (www.aei.org) Their ideology is projection of American supremacy and democracy through might.
The reason ideologues are dangerous, and are particularly dangerous when in power, is that ideologies always conflict with reality, and ideologues are unable to see, are literally blind to, that conflict.
Do you see the conflict in pushing democracy through a gun barrel,
or the conflict between the freedom America stands for and inflicting our
values on others by force? Key members of the PNAC include Cheney, Rumsfeldt,
Wolfowitz, and Perle. PNAC publications on the Internet show that in 1997
they were trying to convince President Clinton that Iraq "was only months
away from having nuclear weapons" and as early as 1998 were advocating armed
(and unprovoked) intervention in Iraq.
You have all heard many critics declare that this administration
"misleads" the American people. How about a little example? The day after Secretary
O'Neill's bombshell Wolf Blitzer was interviewing Richard Perle. Perle noted
that any administration has a large number of contingency plans, updates
them regularly, and Iraq was only one of ours. What he cleverly didn't note,
and I'm surprised Wolf didn't call him for it, is that Iraq was the only one
being discussed. Nice misleading response, but note, - no denial of the
2)That same day Wolf Blitzer noted the result of a CNN poll that said 88% of
Americans agreed that if there are no WMD the war on Iraq was not justified.
And of course there are none.
As early as July 2002 Scott Ritter was making speeches and giving
interviews stating that Iraq did not have WMD capabilities. Scott was a Chief Weapons
Inspector from 1991 until 1998. He explained quite rationally the
disposition of large amounts of chemical and biological precursors that
Rumsfeldt later told us repeatedly were not accounted for. If Ritter had
that information why didn't the "intelligence" community?
Would you have supported the war if there were no WMD, if Saddam
clearly presented no threat to the USA? Would you agree to kill 8000 or so Iraqis
without provocation because Saddam might someday present a threat to us? Do
you feel that you were misled? Are you comfortable with a government that
intentionally misleads you about something as important as justifying an
unprovoked war of aggression, already in planning well before 9/11?