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President G.W. Bush’s Empowerment of Iran

 

 

This article is sourced from Chapter Seven of my book "Oil and God. Sustainable Energy Will Defeat Wahhabi Terror"

 

 

Iraq was sacrificed on the altar of Saudi oil. To avoid havoc in world’s oil markets, Saudi Arabia escaped US retaliation for the heinous crimes committed by 15 of its citizens on 9/11. Although no Iraqi was among the nineteen Wahhabi terrorists, the G.W. Bush administration chose to invade Iraq (March 19, 2003), and remove the government of Saddam Hussein from power (April 9, 2003), an adventure that destroyed much of that country.

 
 
 

Two months before the war, while answering a question on January 18, 2003 on how much money the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, “Well, the Office of Management and Budget has come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the US burden and how much would be other countries is an open question.”[1]

 

Well, the Iraq war turned out to be more expensive than the Defense Secretary’s prewar figures. It cost dozens of times as much as theOffice of Management and Budget estimated: $3 trillion, according to a 2008 estimate by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes.[2] Harvard  University’s Kennedy School estimated in 2013 that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost the US between $4 trillion and $6 trillion.[3] Neta Crawford of Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs estimated that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost US taxpayers nearly $5.6 trillion.[4] President Trump said that the United States had “foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East.”[5] It is safe to say that the lion’s share of this amount belongs to the Iraq war. Also, most of the trillions were not spent in the Middle East. Rather, they benefited the American military-industrial complex, which supplied fighter jets, tanks, guns, and bullets, in addition to soldiers’ salaries, medical care, and transportation to and from the battle-fields. The American human cost in Iraq between March 2003 and the departure of the last soldier in December 2011, was heavy too: 4,484 soldiers killed (out of 4,802 coalition casualties) and many times this number wounded.[6]

 

Not only was the financial cost projected incorrectly, but the duration of the war and number of troops needed was badly planned. The US Central Command’s war plan postulated in August 2002 that they would have only 5,000 troops left in Iraq by December 2006,[7] a far cry from the 141,000 US military personnel on the ground in Iraq at the end of December 2006, joined by another 30,000 additional soldiers in the “surge” of January 2007.

 

As for Iraq, a rather small country of an estimated population of 25 million (in 2003), the losses were catastrophic. No one really knows the exact numbers of the dead and wounded in Iraq. Two million could be an understatement. Many Iraqi cities and towns were pulverized. Most damaging has been the sectarian civil war the US occupation engendered. In Baghdad, a city of seven million inhabitants, it was rather common for Shi’ite and Sunni families to intermarry. Today, members of the same family are enemies.

 

On April 27, 2005, two years after the occupation, the United Nations University International Leadership Institute stated that some 84 percent of Iraq's higher education institutions have been burnt, looted or destroyed.[8]

 

Four years after the occupation had started, Oxfam and Iraqi NGOs reported that, “Of Iraq’s population, 70 percent was without adequate clean water, 80 percent had no access to effective sanitation, 15 percent regularly could not afford to eat, 92 percent of children suffered from learning problems, and nearly 30 percent of children were malnourished—a sharp increase from the situation four years earlier. The slide into poverty and deprivation since the coalition forces entered the country in 2003 has been dramatic.”[9]Fourteen years after the occupation, a brutal civil war continues to consume Iraq. A UNICEF report released on June 27, 2017 stated that, “Over 3 million children don’t attend school on a regular basis, while 1.2 million children are out of school. More than 5 million children are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.”[10]

 

The Orange Kool-Aid  Seven President Dick Chen

To make the war palatable to the American people, Vice President Dick Cheney said that Iraqis would receive America’s troops with open arms. In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Nashville, Tennessee on August 27, 2002, Mr. Cheney said, “As for the reaction of the Arab ‘street,’ the Middle East expert Professor Fouad Ajami predicts that after liberation, the streets in Basra and Baghdad are sure to erupt in joy in the same way the throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans.”[11]  The administration propagated that Iraq had:  

 

1)   A connection to al-Qaeda.

2)   Attempted to obtain uranium from the Central African country of Niger.

3)   Attempted to acquire more than 100,000 high-strength aluminum tubes for gas centrifuges for use in enriching uranium.

4)   Possessed stocks of chemical and biological weapons and continued the development of weapons of mass destruction.

 

Iraq vehemently denied these accusations. The first three charges were discredited before the start of the war. Examining the veracity of the fourth accusation had to wait until Iraq was occupied. In the event, that too proved to be false. The United States Senate’s 145-page Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on Post War Findings about Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments with Additional Views (RSCI) dated September 8, 2006 discredited all accusations in the clearest of terms.[12]

 

1) Connection to Al-Qaeda

Without proof, the Bush administration’s message against Iraq, “honed for public consumption by Fox News and the Weekly Standard,[13] seemed to be that the hunt for al-Qaeda could not eradicate terrorism, because bin Laden and his Taliban hosts were mere puppets. The man pulling the strings was in fact Saddam Hussein.[14] The majority of Americans believed this message. In February 2003, just before the March 19, 2003 attack on Iraq, a CNN-Time poll found that 76 percent of those surveyed believed Saddam provided assistance to al-Qaeda.[15]President Bush stated in a speech on October 7, 2001 in Cincinnati, Ohio:

 

We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and deadly gases. Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.[16]

 

Saddam’s regime could be accused of a million crimes, but not the one of promoting Islamist extremism or of aiding jihadism. Under Saddam’s regime, Iraq was the bulwark against Islamist fanaticism. The New York Times reported on October 27, 2001 that a senior Israeli official said: “We don't see any evidence of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Not as a base, not as financial support.”[17] However, in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press on December 9, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney said, “It's been pretty well confirmed that Atta [the leader of the September 11 attacks] did go to Prague, and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in (the Czech Republic) last April, several months before the attack.”[18] Nevertheless, the New York Times reported on October 21, 2002 that the Czech president, Vaclav Havel, quietly told the White House he had concluded that there was no evidence to confirm earlier reports that Muhammad Atta, had met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague just months before the attacks on New York and Washington.[19] The RSCI report concluded on this issue that, “Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support.”[20] On the Iraqi regime’s support of Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi (merged with al-Qaeda in 2004), RSCI said, “Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi, and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi.”[21] It is notable that the president of the United States repeated in a speech as late as mid-August 2006 that, “Saddam Hussein ... had relations with Zarqawi.”[22]

 

2) Attempt to Obtain Uranium from the Central African Country of Niger

President Bush, in his January 28, 2003 State of the Union address, declared that, “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”[23]

 

Well before the president’s speech, in February 2002, the CIA had dispatched US Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate. Joseph Wilson was a career foreign service officer and ambassador who in the mid-1970s had been a diplomat in Niamey, Niger’s capital. Wilson advised the CIA and the State Department that the Niger story was bogus. Ambassador Wilson’s findings were ignored. Ambassador Wilson published  his findings on July 6, 2003 in the New York Times article entitled, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”[24]   

 

3) Attempts to Acquire High-Strength Aluminum Tubes for Gas Centrifuges

In the weeks leading up to the war, Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice repeatedly stated that Iraq had attempted to acquire more than 100,000 high-strength aluminum tubes for gas centrifuges to be used for enriching uranium.  Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice made this claim. President Bush declared at the UN General Assembly on September 12, 2002, “Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.”[25] He later repeated the accusation on several occasions, including the State of the Union Address on January 28, 2003: “Our intelligence sources tell us that he [Saddam Hussein] has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.”[26] The aluminum tubes story was also part of General Powell’s case to the UN on February 5, 2003, when he asserted, “Saddam Hussein made repeated covert attempts to acquire high-specification aluminum tubes from eleven different countries.”[27]

 

The CIA emphasized that the tubes were intended specifically for centrifuges. Experts at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge, Livermore, and Los Alamos National Laboratories disagreed because the tube dimensions were far from ideal for this purpose. The DOE pointed out that if these tubes were for centrifuges, there should be evidence of Iraqi attempts to acquire hundreds of thousands of other very specific components, but no such evidence existed. This critique of the CIA interpretation was seconded by the State Department Intelligence Branch, and also by the international group of centrifuge experts advising the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Mr. Powell had even been briefed by the IAEA about its disagreement with the CIA analysis.[28]

 

4) Possessing Stocks of Chemical and Biological Weapons and Continued Development of Weapons of Mass Destruction

According to a CNN article, in the January 28, 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush described Saddam Hussein’s stockpile of hundreds of tons of deadly chemical and biological weapons:

 

Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard, and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, the President continued, these chemical agents could also kill untold thousands, and added that, Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs designed to produce germ warfare agents, which can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. As for delivery munitions, the president disclosed, US intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents.[29]

 

Secretary of State Colin Powell, at the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003, echoed the president’s address. General Powell, a military expert, having been the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (October 1, 1989 to September 30, 1993), told the world that the United States had, “First-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails … We know what the fermenters look like, we know what the tanks, pumps, compressors, and other parts look like. We know how they fit together. We know how they work. And we know a great deal about the platforms on which they are mounted.”[30]

 

The General presented a video of a modified fuel tank for an F-1 Mirage jet obtained by UNSCOM some years before, noting that the spray coming from beneath the Mirage was 2,000 liters of simulated anthrax.[31] As if to strengthen his argument, Mr. Powell referred glowingly to a UK government report entitled: Iraq, Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception, and Intimidation, published one week earlier, on January 30, 2003, saying, “I would call my colleagues’ attention to the fine paper that the UK distributed ... which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.”[32] The Downing Street authors claimed that they drew upon a number of sources, including intelligence material. In fact, they copied material from at least three different authors and gave no credit to them. Indeed, they plagiarized, directly cutting and pasting.[33] One of the sources was an essay by a graduate student at a US university, complete with spelling errors, published in the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA), a professional journal published in Israel. Channel 4 UK TV reported that, “The student’s work regarding the Iraqi intelligence structure was written in a historical perspective on pre-1991 Iraq and was used in the document as a description of today’s Iraq. Apart from pages 6 to 16 that have been directly cut and pasted, other sections have had words altered to make it sound more sinister. Even typographic mistakes in the original article were repeated.”[34]

 

Hans Blix, the UN chief weapons inspector, disputed Mr. Powell’s evidence at the Security Council on February 5, 2003. Dr. Blix stated there was no evidence of mobile biological weapons laboratories or of Iraq trying to evade inspectors by moving equipment before his teams arrived. Dr. Blix said he had already inspected two alleged mobile labs and found nothing.[35] General Powell came to regret his performance. He described his presentation as “a blot” on his record: “It was painful. It’s painful now.”[36]

 

On March 7, 2003, the Director-General of the IAEA, Mohammad al-Baradei, presented to the UN the IAEA’s findings regarding Iraq’s nuclear activities during the previous decade. He said, “After three months of intrusive inspections, the Agency had found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. There was also no indication that Iraq had attempted to import uranium since 1990 or that it had attempted to import aluminum tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment.”[37] However, Mr. Cheney contradicted the IAEA chief on March 16, 2005 on NBC Television, saying, “We believe Saddam Hussein has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. al-Baradei frankly is wrong. If you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency and this kind of issue, especially where Iraq is concerned, they consistently underestimated or missed what Saddam Hussein was doing.”[38]

 

On the second accusation, possession and continued development of nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the means to deliver them, this accusation proved to be false as well. The 1,000-page Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence Agency on Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (named the Duelfer Report), released on April 25, 2006, found no such weapons, despite the keen interest of the war managers in Washington and the vast expense and diligence of 1,200 inspectors for one-and-a-half years.[39] On January 12, 2005, the search for WMD in Iraq stopped and the inspectors returned home.[40] On April 26, 2005, the United States closed the book on the Iraq WMD hunt.[41]

 

How Might the Intelligence Failures Be Explained?

The intelligence evidence might have been obtained from dubious sources, knowingly or gullibly, without proper verification, or plagiarized. On those occasions when analysts voiced doubt, politicians simply ignored them. The intelligence might have even been invented in order to comply with the White House’s narrative about the compelling need for the war. Senator Angus King stated during the confirmation hearing of Mike Pompeo on January 12, 2017 for the position of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency:

 

The great foreign policy mistakes of my lifetime – Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs, and Iraq – all were based in one way or another on bad intelligence or, more accurately, intelligence that was tailored to fit the demands of the policymakers. You can’t read the histories of those decisions without coming to that conclusion.[42]

 

In his memoires, “My Life, Our Times” published in November 2017, Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, states that the UK was misled over former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's access to weapons of mass destruction.[43] Mr. Brown says US intelligence, which challenged the extent of Iraq's WMD stockpile, was not shared with the UK before it joined the Iraq War and that, “We were not just misinformed, but misled.”[44] 

 

The Plan to Invade Iraq Well Before 9/11

On January 26, 1998, almost four years before September 11, 2001, regime change in Iraq had been on the minds of influential Washington politicians. Eighteen individuals, many of whom became senior officials in the first administration of President George W. Bush, sent an open letter to President Bill Clinton urging him to remove Saddam Hussein from power.[45] Part of the letter stated, “We urge you to seize [the] opportunity and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the USA and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power.”[46]On October 31, 1998, the Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act. It declares that it should be the policy of the United States to:

 

Seek to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power in Iraq and to replace it with a democratic government.

 

Authorizes the President, after notifying specified congressional committees, to provide to the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations: (1) grant assistance for radio and television broadcasting to Iraq; (2) Department of Defense (DOD) defense articles and services and military education and training (IMET); and (3) humanitarian assistance, with emphasis on addressing the needs of individuals who have fled from areas under the control of the Hussein regime. Prohibits assistance to any group or organization that is engaged in military cooperation with the Hussein regime. Authorizes appropriations.

 

Directs the President to designate: (1) one or more Iraqi democratic opposition organizations that meet specified criteria as eligible to receive assistance under this Act; and (2) additional such organizations which satisfy the President's criteria.

 

Urges the President to call upon the United Nations to establish an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, and other criminal violations of international law.
 
Expresses the sense of the Congress that once the Saddam Hussein regime is removed from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq's transition to democracy by providing humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people and democracy transition assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals, including convening Iraq's foreign creditors to develop a multilateral response to the foreign debt incurred by the Hussein regime.[47]

 

The occupation of Iraq was consistent with the recommendations contained in a report written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC), entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century. The report states that, “The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.“[48]

 

The story of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction was a late invention. In 2001, the Bush administration spoke confidently of how effective the American policy of containment had been. Secretary of State Powell stated in Cairo on February 24, 2001 that, “Saddam Hussein has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction.”[49]

On May 15, 2001, Powell went further, saying that, “Saddam Hussein had not been able to rebuild his military or to develop weapons of mass destruction for the past ten years. America, he said, had been successful in keeping him “in a box.””[50] Two months later, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice described a weak, divided, and militarily defenseless Iraq, “Saddam does not control the northern part of the country, she said. We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.”[51]

 

The 9/11 atrocities facilitated the realization of PNAC’s objectives in Rebuilding America’s Defenses to change Saddam Hussein’s regime.[52] 

 

Ostensible Motives behind the Occupation of Iraq

The Bush administration was in a hurry to invade Iraq despite the Blix and al-Baradei reports. That the two reports found “no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program” suggests a hidden agenda of nine reasons:

 

1) Change the Regimes of Iran and Syria

Changing the regimes of Iran and Syria could have been the strongest motive. The two countries were two of the three members of Mr. Bush’s “axis of evil.”[53] Regarding Syria’s Assad regime, US policy intentions toward Damascus can be gleaned through a 1996 study entitled, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm[54] conducted by the Likud-leaning Israeli think-tank, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Eight policy advisors to Israel authored the study.[55] A Clean Break advocates removing Saddam Hussein from power in order to weaken Syria. The study states that, “Israel can shape its strategic environment ... by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq—an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right—as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.” The study also advocates “reestablishing the principle of preemption, rather than retaliation alone.”

 

Changing Iran’s ayatollahs’ regime would change the political map of the Middle East. It could turn a hostile anti-US theocracy into a secular democratic pro-American country. It could complete US control over Middle East oil, and open a market of 70 million (in 2003) Iranians to US business. With Iran and Syria added to Iraq, a Middle East Pax-Americana involving Arabs, Iranians, and Israelis could become a reality—a tantalizing prospect, on paper, at least. In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national convention in Nashville, Tennessee on August 27, 2002, Cheney said, “Our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced.”[56]

 

2) Control of Iraq’s Vast Oil Reserves

Estimated to have been 112 billion barrels in 2002[57] (in 2016, reserves grew to 143 billion barrels),[58] Iraq possesses one of the world’s largest oil reserves. The cluster of super-giant fields of Southeastern Iraq forms the largest known concentration of such fields in the world, accounting for 70 percent to 80 percent of the country’s proven oil reserves, or around 100 billion barrels.[59] Adding Iraq’s oil reserves to those of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE would have effectively completed America’s control over Arab oil resources, estimated at more than half of the world’s proven oil reserves.

 

US intentions toward Iraq’s oil may be detected from documents secured by the public interest group Judicial Watch in July 2003, which stated:

 

Vice President Dick Cheney has been plotting the conquest of Iraq since he was Secretary of Defense in President George H.W. Bush's administration—a plan then considered insane aggression. On July 17, 2003, Judicial Watch announced that Cheney's Energy Task Force had developed a map of Iraq dated March 2001, as well as maps of the neighboring United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Saudi Arabia, which show that Cheney knew precisely how much the conquest of Iraq would be worth. The map, which shows oilfields, pipelines, tanker terminals, and refineries, includes eight "blocks" for exploration near the border with Saudi Arabia.[60]

 

Significantly, on April 9, 2003, the day Baghdad fell, US troops proceeded to protect the oil ministry, while mobs nearby were not prevented from looting and ransacking other ministries, libraries, and museums.[61]

 

It is noteworthy that President Trump stated on January 21, 2017 that the US should have taken Iraq’s oil.[62]

 

3) Hand US Corporations Billions of Dollars in Reconstruction Contracts

Hundreds of billions of dollars would potentially go to American companies for reconstructing Iraq’s invasion-ravaged cities and towns, oil and gas production and refining infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, electricity and telecommunication networks, roads, harbors, airports, and so forth.

           

4) Bolster Israel’s Security

Destroying Iraq’s armed forces and infrastructure is one way to work toward the goal of bolstering Israel’s security. The other way is to carve Iraq into separate states for Kurds, Arab Shi’ites, and Arab Sunnis. The breakup of Iraq would be a prelude, Arabs believe, to similar breakups in Lebanon and Syria into enclaves for Alawites, Christians, Druzes, Shi’ites, and Sunnis.

 

5) Quench Mr. Bush’s Personal Hatred of Saddam Hussein

Saddam was accused of plotting to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush during his ceremonial visit to Kuwait in April 1993. Mr. Bush kept a gun that Saddam Hussein was holding when US forces caught him. The president “really liked showing it off,” and  “was really proud of it,”[63] suggesting that Mr. Bush’s animosity toward Saddam Hussein was personal.

 

6) Spread Democracy in the Arab World

In 2005, the Bush administration embarked on a program to steer Arab countries to hold democratic elections. This strategy was without regard to the explosion that would have erupted from lifting the lid on religious and sectarian pressures. The results were not encouraging for US policies.

 
 
-            - Palestinian Authority (PA): Washington, the European Union, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority tried to derail Hamas in the January 2006 elections. The PA was threatened with financial aid cut-off if Hamas prevailed.[64] It was revealed three days before the elections that the Bush administration had been spending foreign aid money to increase the popularity of the PA and to campaign against the Hamas candidates.[65] In the event, Hamas, who participated in elections for the first time, won 74 of the 132 seats in parliament[66] or, 56 percent. In reaction, the US demanded the return of $50 million in aid funds Washington had given to the PA in 2005 for infrastructure development in Gaza, to which the PA agreed promptly.[67]  Almost twelve years later, in October 2017, Tony Blair, Prime Minister at the time, said that he and other world leaders were wrong to yield to Israeli pressure to impose an immediate boycott on Hamas after Hamas won the 2006 elections.[68]
- -    -= Iraq: In the January 30, 2005 elections for the Transitional National Assembly, the United Iraqi Alliance list of candidates (UIA) was approved by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. He is the leader of Shi’ism’s preeminent 950-year old Najaf Hawza (Shi’ite scholarly center). The list was known as the Sistani List. Dominated by Shi’ite clerics, the Sistani List won 140 of the 275 seats.[69] In the December 15, 2005 elections, the UIA won 128 out of 275 seats.[70] Sunnis were sidelined in both elections.
      -  Saudi Arabia: The 2005 municipal elections were farcical theatrics of no democratic value. Nonetheless, one-half of the 178 councilors were government appointed. Women were barred from running for office and from voting. Saudi democracy meant that when the councils were finally announced in December 2005, ten months after the first round was held, the municipal affairs minister declared that the councils would have largely advisory roles on local affairs.[71]
- Egypt: A constitutional amendment was made to allow a sort of contested presidential election with restrictions on President Mubarak’s opponents. A nine-page Egyptian judges’ report described the referendum on constitutional reform as “marred by widespread fraud.”[72]  On September 7, 2005, President Mubarak was re-elected by a majority of 88.6 percent of the votes cast. Turnout was low—23 percent of Egypt’s 32 million registered voters.[73] Opposition groups alleged voter intimidation, people casting more than one vote, and busing voters to polling stations to vote for Mr. Mubarak.[74] The difference between Mubarak’s performance in the September 7, 2005 election and his four previous non-contested farcical referendums was minimal; 88.6 percent as compared with 98.5 percent in 1981; 97.1 percent in 1987; 96.3 percent in 1993; and 93.8 percent in 1999. Also, in Egypt’s parliamentary elections in November-December 2005, members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood stood as independents. They became the major parliamentary opposition, winning 88 seats, or 20 percent. They could have won more seats had they been recognized as a legal party and allowed to campaign freely.
 
With such poor experience, the Bush administration’s faith in Arab democracy quickly vanished.

 

7) Replace the Cold War Against the Former Soviet Union with a New Enemy

During the decades of the Cold War, the Soviet “Evil Empire” maintained the good health of the US military-industrial complex. The end of the Cold War could not be allowed to hinder the viability of the US military-industrial complex. The United States has invested too many financial and human resources in military-production infrastructure. According to the 2004 DSB report, the Global War on Terrorism replaced the Cold War as a national security meta-narrative.[75] It explains that the new development is increasingly viewed by the overwhelming majority of Muslims as a threat to the survival of Islam itself. As evidence, the report refers to three polls conducted one year after the invasion of Iraq that showed an overwhelming conviction by Muslims that the US seeks to “dominate” and “weaken” the Muslim World.[76]

 

To promote the new war, its proponents had to find common denominators between the ideologies, aims, and methods of Marxism/Leninism and radical Islam. In a speech at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. in October 2005, President G.W. Bush outlined the similarities between America’s fight against “the murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals” and the “struggle against communism in the last century.”[77]    

 

8) Remove Russia’s Influence from Iraq

Following the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy in 1958, close relations between Iraq and the former Soviet Union were developed. In 1972, after President Sadat removed Soviet military personnel from Egypt, relations between Baghdad and Moscow strengthened, with a treaty of friendship and co-operation. As Iraq’s finances improved with the quadrupling of oil prices in 1973, the Soviet Union became Iraq’s primary supplier of sophisticated weapons and technicians. In 1987 Iraq had “about 4,500 tanks, including advanced versions of the T72.”[78] In September 2002, despite the destruction of much of its arsenal during the 1990 Gulf War over Kuwait, “Iraq had more than 2,000 main battle tanks, 3,500 armored personnel carriers and 2,000 artillery pieces.”[79]

 

9) Appease US Evangelical Christians

Religious and/or electoral considerations give America’s far right groups, like Evangelical Christians, a significant influence over US strategies in the Middle East. For example, to demonize Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War of 1990, the organization Jews for Jesus declared in full-page newspaper advertisements that Saddam “represents the spirit of the Antichrist about which the Bible warns.”[80]

 

 


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[1] “Interview Transcript, Rumsfeld Briefs Press,” CNN, (January 19, 2003).

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0301/19/se.01.html

[2] Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, The Three Trillion Dollar War, The True Cost of the Iraqi Conflict, (Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, 2008.

[3] Linda J. Bilmes, “The Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How Wartime Spending Decisions Will Constrain Future National Security Budgets,” Harvard University: Faculty Research Working Paper Series, (March 2013).

https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=8956&type=WPN

[4] Neta Crawford,US Budgetary Costs of Post-9/11 Wars Through FY2018: $5.6 Trillion.”

[5] Alana Horowitz Satlin, “Trump Bemoans War Costs As Pence Promises Afghanistan To 'See This Through',” (December 22, 2017).

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/trump-war-costs-afghanistan_us_5a3d0667e4b06d1621b3df68

[6] Simon Rogers, “War in Iraq: the cost in American lives and dollars,” The Guardian, (December 15, 2011).

https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/dec/15/war-iraq-costs-us-lives

[7] The National Security Archive, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 214, http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB214/index.htm

[8]  hrough nly destnment. Neighboull.  Iran stood to benefit from America'e proportional representation if future parliaments and c The Current Status and Future Prospects for the Transformation and Reconstruction of the Higher Education System in Iraq, pdf download.

http://www.unu.edu/news/ili/Iraq.doc

[9] For the full report: Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/18_07_07_oxfam_iraq.pdf

[10]Nowhere to Go: Children in Iraq Trapped in Cycles of Violence and Poverty,” UNICEF, (June 27, 2017).

https://www.unicef.org/media/media_96529.html 

[11]Full text of Dick Cheney's Speech,” The Guardian, (August 27, 2002).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/aug/27/usa.iraq

[12] Select Committee on Intelligence, “Post War Findings About Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments with Additional Views, United States Senate, (September 8, 2006).

https://fas.org/irp/congress/2006_rpt/srpt109-331.pdf

 “:

ary 5, 2003,paper,  post mortem investigation, certain events prior to the 2003 invasion were red flags that cast doubt abo

[13] Fox News and the Weekly Standard are both controlled by Rupert Murdoch.

[14] Giles Kepel, The War for Muslim Minds. Islam and the West, (Belknap/Harvard, 2004), P. 197.

[15] Bruce Morton, “Selling an Iraq–Al-Qaeda Connection,” CNN, (March 11, 2003).

http://www.twf.org/News/Y2003/0312-IraqalQaeda.html

[16] them,endingriending them, ents, lowingse sparks of home or foreign ligious people are humiliated (see the section below: /11 te President George W. Bush, “Remarks by the President on Iraq: President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, Official White House Transcript, (October 7, 2002).

https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/10/print/20021007-8.html

[17] Patrick Tyler and John Tagliabue, “A Nation Challenged: The Investigation; Czechs Confirm Iraqi Agent Met with Terror Ringleader,” The New York Times, (October 27, 2001).

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/27/world/nation-challenged-investigation-czechs-confirm-iraqi-agent-met-with-terror.html

[18] Vice President Dick Cheney, “The Vice President Appears on NBC's Meet the Press,” Official White House Transcript, (December 9, 2001).

https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/vicepresident/news-speeches/speeches/print/vp20011209.html

[19] James Risen, “Threats and Responses: The View from Prague; Prague Discounts an Iraqi Meeting,” The New York Times, (October 21, 2002).

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/21/world/threats-and-responses-the-view-from-prague-prague-discounts-an-iraqi-meeting.html

[20] Select Committee on Intelligence, “Post War Findings About Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments with Additional Views,”P. 105

 “:

ary 5, 2003,paper,  post mortem investigation, certain events prior to the 2003 invasion were red flags that cast doubt abothem,endingriending them, ents, lowingse sparks of home or foreign ligious people are humiliated (see the section below: /11 te

[21] Ibid. P. 109

[22]Saddam 'Had No Link to al-Qaeda,'” BBC, (September 9, 2006).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/5328592.stm

[23] Full Transcript, “Bush's State of the Union Speech, CNN, (January 29, 2003).

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/28/sotu.transcript/

[24] Joseph C. Wilson, “What I Didn't Find in Africa,” The New York Times, (July 6, 2003).

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/06/opinion/what-i-didn-t-find-in-africa.html

[25] Full Transcript, “President Bush's Address to the United Nations, CNN, (September 12, 2002).

http://edition.cnn.com/2002/US/09/12/bush.transcript/

[26] Bush's State of the Union Speech, CNN.

[27] Powell's Key Points on Iraq, CNN, (February 5, 2003).

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/02/05/sprj.irq.key.points.txt/index.html

[28] Scientific Integrity in Policy Making, The Bush Administration’s Misuse of Science. Misrepresenting Evidence on Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes,

http://webexhibits.org/bush/9.html

[29] Bush's State of the Union Speech, CNN.

[30]Transcript of Powell's UN Presentation,” CNN, (February 5, 2003).

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/02/05/sprj.irq.powell.transcript.05/

[31] Ibid.

[32]Full text of Colin Powell's Speech,” The Guardian, (February 5, 2003).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/feb/05/iraq.usa

[33] Glen Rangwala, “British Intelligence Iraq Dossier Relies on Recycled Academic Articles,” Center for Research on Globalisation, (February 5, 2003).

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RAN302A.html

[34] Channel 4 UK TV, “Part of Colin Powell’s Address to the UN Was Plagiarized: It Was Copied and Pasted from a Website!” (February 6, 2003).

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHF302A.html

[35] Dan Plesch, “US Claim Dismissed by Blix,” The Guardian, (February 5, 2003). http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,889133,00.html

[36] Steven Weisman, “Powell Calls His UN Speech a Lasting Blot on His Record, The New York Times, (September 9, 2005).

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/09/politics/powell-calls-his-un-speech-a-lasting-blot-on-his-record.html?_r=0

[37] United Nations, “United Nations Weapons Inspectors Report to Security Council on Progress in Disarmament of Iraq,” (March 7, 2003).

http://www.un.org/press/en/2003/sc7682.doc.htm

[38] “Transcript for Meet the Press with Dick Cheney,” NBC News, (Sept 14, 2003).

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3080244/#.WHF9Qnecb6k

[39] US Government Publishing Office, Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD, with Addendums (Duelfer Report), (April 25, 2005).

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-DUELFERREPORT/content-detail.html

[40] US gives up search for Iraq WMD,” BBC, (January 12, 2005).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4169107.stmAnd:

 “:

ary 5, 2003,paper,  post mortem investigation, certain events prior to the 2003 invasion were red flags that cast doubt abo

[41] “US Closes Book on Iraq WMD Hunt,” BBC, (April 26, 2005).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4484237.stm

[42] Full Transcript, “Confirmation Hearing of Mike Pompeo for CIA Director,” CNN, (January 12, 2017).

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1701/12/ath.02.html

[43] Iraq War: Gordon Brown Says UK 'Misled' over WMDs,” BBC, (November 5, 2017).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41872701

[44] Ibid.

[45] The authors of the letter included Richard Perle (head of the Pentagon’s defense policy board), Richard Armitage (deputy secretary of state), John Bolton (under-secretary of state), Paula Dobriansky (under-secretary of state), Elliott Abrams (presidential advisor for the Middle East and a member of the US National Security Council), Peter W. Rodman (assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs), Zalmay Khalilzad (special envoy to the Iraqi opposition), Robert B. Zoellick (US trade representative), Paul Wolfowitz (deputy secretary of defense), and former CIA director James Woolsey.

[46] PNAC letters sent to President Bill Clinton, (January 26, 1998).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5527.htm

[47] US Congress, “Iraq Liberation Act of 1998,” Congress.gov.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/105th-congress/house-bill/4655

[48] Project for the New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, (September 2000).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/pdf/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

[49] “Powell ’01: WMD Not ‘Significant’,” CBS NEWS, (September 28, 2003).

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/powell-01-wmds-not-significant/

[50] Colin Powell & Rice in 2001 says "Saddam Hussein was no threat",” IN REVIEW, (September 29, 2003).

http://www.inreview.com/topic-10092.html

[51] Ibid.

[52] For the Iraq War timeline from the day George Bush went to the Pentagon for 'a top-secret session with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review hot spots around the world' on January 11, 2001 to the day the US invaded Iraq, March 19, 2003, see:

Public Interest Investigations, Powerbase, Iraq War 2003 Timeline,

http://powerbase.info/index.php/Iraq_War_2003_Timeline

[53] Frank Gardner, “Who's Who in the 'Axis of Evil,'” BBC, (December 20, 2003).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1988810.stm

[54] The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Study_Group_on_a_New_Israeli_Strategy_Toward_2000

[55] Richard Perle (head of the defense policy board), Douglas Feith, (undersecretary of defense for policy), James Colbert (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Israel), Charles Fairbanks, Jr. (Johns Hopkins University/SAIS), Robert Loewenberg (President, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies), Jonathan Torop (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy), David Wurmser (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies), Meyrav Wurmser (Johns Hopkins University).

[56]Full text of Dick Cheney's Speech,” The Guardian, (August 27, 2002).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/aug/27/usa.iraq

[57] Gal Luft, “How Much Oil Does Iraq Have?,” Brookings, (May 12, 2003).

https://www.brookings.edu/research/how-much-oil-does-iraq-have/

[58] Central intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Country Comparisons: Crude Oil – Proved Reserves,

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2244rank.html

[59] Patrick Avis, “The Outlook and Challenges for Oil in Iraq,” Energy Analyst, (October 31, 2016).

https://energyanalyst.co.uk/the-outlook-and-challenges-for-oil-in-iraq/

[60] Scott Thompson, “Dick Cheney Has Long Planned to Loot Iraqi Oil,” by Scott Thompson, Executive Intelligence Review, (August 1, 2003).

http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3030cheney_oil.html

[61]Oil ministry an untouched building in ravaged Baghdad” The Sunday Morning Herald, (April 16, 2003).

https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/oil-ministry-an-untouched-building-in-ravaged-baghdad-20030416-gdgm32.html

[62] Matt Fuller, “President Trump Just Told The CIA The US Should Have Stolen Iraq’s Oil,” The Huffington Post, (January 21, 2017).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-cia-iraq-oil_us_5883ccf5e4b096b4a23243b2

[63] “Bush Has Saddam Gun as Souvenir,” BBC, (May 30, 2004).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3762641.stm

[64] GolobalSecurity.Org, “Palestinian Parliamentary Elections 2006”.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/palestine/pa-elections2006.htm

[65] Scott Wilson and Glenn Kessler, “US Funds Enter Fray in Palestinian Elections,Washington Post, (January 22, 2006).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/21/AR2006012101431.html

[66]CEC Announces Final Results of Second PLC Elections,” Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA), (January 29, 2006).

http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=28320

[67]  “Israel to Consider Palestinian Sanctions,” CNN, (February 18, 2006). http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/02/18/hamas.abbas/index.html

[68] Donald Macintyre, “Tony Blair: ‘We Were Wrong to Boycott Hamas after its Election Win,’” The Guardian, (October 14, 2017).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/14/tony-blair-hamas-gaza-boycott-wrong

[69]  Iraqi Shia Unite to Contest Poll,” BBC, (October 27, 2005). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4382640.stm

[70]Guide to Iraqi Political Parties,” BBC, (January 20, 2006).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4511450.stm

[71]  “Saudi Councils Finally Announced,” BBC, (December 15, 2005).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4531862.stm

[72]  “Egyptian Judges Allege Vote Fraud,” BBC, (July 2, 2005).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4644503.stm

[73] “Landslide Win for Egyptian Leader,” BBC, (September 9, 2005).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4231338.stm

[74]  “Egypt Challenger to Seek Re-run,” BBC, (September 8, 2005).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4225912.stm

[75] Office of the Under Secretary of Defense For Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics,

Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication (DSB), (September 2004), P. 17.

https://fas.org/irp/agency/dod/dsb/commun.pdf

[76] Ibid. P. 35.

ollowing the end ofy-industrial complex alive and wellemboldement n its way to catch up with Syria Sunni/ Shi'nd thrown in jail

[77] “Bush: Islamic Radicalism Doomed to Fail,” CNN, (October 6, 2005). http://edition.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/10/06/bush.transcript/

[78] Baath Ground Forces Equipment,” GlobalSecurity.org.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/ground-equipment-intro.htm

[79] Ibid.

[80] Paul S. Boyer, When U.S. Foreign Policy Meets Biblical Prophecy,” AlterNet, Information Clearing House, (February 22, 2003).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1583.htm