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Tag Archives: George W. Bush

In my last post I highlighted some of the reasons why Americans should condemn the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq. However, as deplorable as the past five years of war have been, I also believe it is necessary to look back at the economic war that was waged against Iraq in the 1990’s. The Iraq Sanctions, supported by the Clinton administration, are considered to be some of the most brutal in all of history. The ostensible goal of those sanctions was to weaken Saddam Hussein’s totalitarian grip on the people of Iraq and to eliminate the “threat” posed to the Middle East and the West by Hussein and his alleged weapons programs. Of course, that’s not the way things would pan out. In fact, the Clinton backed Iraq sanctions and the invasion of Iraq begun by Bush in 2003 have one dubious “accomplishment” in common. They have both resulted in tremendous suffering for the Iraqi people.

In the early 1990’s the U.N. Security Council passed resolutions which placed sanctions on Iraq. The first Bush administration believed the sanctions should not be lifted as long as Hussein remained in power. But, Bill Clinton was and still is a humanitarian, right? Surely he wouldn’t feel the same way. Or would he? In 1993, as he takes office Clinton says:

“I am a Baptist. I believe in death-bed conversions. If he [Hussein] wants a different relationship with the United States and the United Nations, all he has to do is change his behavior.” (The New York Times, January 14, 1993)

Clinton adds regarding Hussein: “I have no intention of normalizing relations with him.”

On May 12, 1996 on 60 Minutes Ambassador Madeleine Albright is asked:

“We have heard that a half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. Is the price worth it?”

Albright responds:

“I think this is a very hard choice, but the price-we think the price is worth it.”

Then, on October 4, 1996, UNICEF releases a report on Iraq in which it states:

“Around 4,500 children under the age of five are dying here every month from hunger and disease.”

And of course, it gets worse. On October 3, 1997 a joint study conducted by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program discovers that the sanctions:

“significantly constrained Iraq’s ability to earn foreign currency needed to import sufficient quantities of food to meet needs. As a consequence, food shortages and malnutrition became progressively severe and chronic in the 1990s.”

In the face of this disaster, what does Bill Clinton do? He responds with bluster. In November 1997, during a standoff on weapons inspectors, the President says:

“What he [Hussein] says his objective is, is to relieve the people of Iraq, and presumably the government, of the burden of the sanctions. What he has just done is to ensure that the sanctions will be there until the end of time or as long as he lasts. So I think that if his objective is to try to get back into the business of manufacturing vast stores of weapons of mass destruction and then try to either use them or sell them, then at some point the United States, and more than the United States, would be more than happy to try to stop that.” (Emphasis Added)

Is this the same Bill Clinton who is now regarded as a supreme humanitarian? Just think of all of those bumper stickers that read “Nobody died when Clinton lied.” The truth is that hundreds of thousands of people died when Clinton lied.

Anyway, the tragedy in Iraq continued, as on November 26, 1997 UNICEF reported:

“The most alarming results are those on malnutrition, with 32 per cent of children under the age of five, some 960,000 children, chronically malnourished-a rise of 72 per cent since 1991. Almost one quarter (around 23 per cent) are underweight-twice as high as the levels found in neighbouring Jordan or Turkey.” Philippe Heffinck, UNICEF Representative in Baghdad: “And what concerns us now is that there is no sign of any improvement since Security Council Resolution 986/1111 [oil-for-food] came into force.”

Just a couple of weeks after this report is issued Clinton reminds the public of his intentions:

“I am willing to maintain the sanctions as long as he does not comply with the resolutions…. There are those that would like to lift the sanctions. I am not among them.”

Then on January 10, 1998 the Pope speaks out against the sanctions:

“I insist on repeating clearly to all, once again, that no one may kill in God’s name,” recalling “our brothers and sisters in Iraq, living under a pitiless embargo… The weak and the innocent cannot pay for mistakes for which they are not responsible.”

The next grim report from UNICEF would come in April. It stated:

“The increase in mortality reported in public hospitals for children under five years of age (an excess of some 40,000 deaths yearly compared with 1989) is mainly due to diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. In those over five years of age, the increase (an excess of some 50,000 deaths yearly compared with 1989) is associated with heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, liver or kidney diseases.”

On October 6, 1998, Dennis Halliday, the former head of the “oil for food” program for Iraq gives a speech on Capitol Hill in which he cites:

a “conservative estimate” of “child mortality for children under five years of age is from five to six thousand per month.” Halliday states: “There are many reasons for these tragic and unnecessary deaths, including the poor health of mothers, the breakdown of health services, the poor nutritional intake of both adults and young children and the high incidence of water-born diseases as a result of the collapse of Iraq’s water and sanitation system-and, of course, the lack of electric power to drive that system, both crippled by war damage following the 1991 Gulf War.”

However, the Clinton administration remained unbowed in their steely eyed determination to oust Hussein from power through the crippling sanctions. They too, espoused more nonsense about WMDs, for which George W. Bush is now infamous. On November 10, 1998 State Department spokesman James Rubin said:

“We’ve stated very clearly that it is up to Saddam Hussein to comply with the resolutions of the Security Council that lay out the needs and requirements, including on weapons of mass destruction, coming back into compliance with those resolutions, including on Kuwaiti prisoners, Kuwaiti equipment, and, in short, demonstrating his peaceful intentions, in which case we are prepared to see an adjustment in the sanctions regime.”

And let’s not forget the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, in which it is averred that Iraq:

“…has persisted in a pattern of deception and concealment regarding the history of its weapons of mass destruction programs.”

So we see that the lies of 2001 and 2002 are strikingly similar to the lies of 1998. Two different Presidents, yet the lies remain the same. In the 1990’s Clinton’s lies led to the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis through those despicable sanctions. In the early 2000’s Bush’s lies have led to the mass murders of possibly over a million Iraqis.

Call one a Democrat. Call the other a Republican. One is “conservative.” One is “liberal.” That is all irrelevant. The only thing that matters is that they are partners in crime.

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Based on a few comments I have received on this post it appears that there is still some confusion regarding the issue of whether or not Iraq had anything to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I have been accused of “assuming” that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein’s government and the hijackers. Well, with this post I intend to corroborate my claims and prove that they were not “assumptions” at all.

I will begin with Mr. War on Terror himself, George W. Bush. In this video he admits that there is no Iraq-9/11 connection. In the same clip he also admits that there were no weapons of mass destruction. No, I’m not “assuming” this. He actually says it.

Then we have vice president Dick Cheney. In this video he too, admits that there is no connection between Iraq and 9/11. He does claim that there is evidence linking Iraq to Al Qaeda, but that claim has also been refuted.

Continuing with the neocon war zealots parade we come to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Guess what? He also admits there’s no connection between Iraq and 9/11.

And former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, who was a major architect of the Iraq war echoes those sentiments.

Now, I can just hear some people saying ” What about Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi?” Just in case you’re not familiar with that name I’ll clue you in. In 2004 former Navy secretary John Lehman, a Republican member of the 9/11 commission was very concerned about Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi. It was posited that he was a member of Saddam’s militia, the Fedayeen. Furthermore, an Al Qaeda meeting that was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2000 had none other than Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi, the presumed Fedayeen man, as one of its attendees. It is thought that much of the planning for 9/11 took place at this meeting. Therefore, Lehman concluded that this was solid evidence which proved Saddam’s government had collaborated with the 9/11 hijackers and Al Qaeda in general.

However, it all turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. It’s true that Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi was there in Malaysia in 2000. He was, in fact, an Al Qaeda greeter at the airport. It’s false, however, that he was also a member of the Fedayeen. That man was named Lt. Col. Hikmat Shakir Ahmad.

A Bush administration official more or less shrugged off Lehman’s claim saying “By most reckoning that would be someone else.” The official did say that the issue was still being studied, but that “it doesn’t look like a match to most analysts.”

And let’s think about this for a second. If this story was even remotely true, Bush would have been on television a long time ago to inform us of this one. I mean, it could have been his saving grace. Apparently, it was too false even for him.

So was I really “assuming” that there was no Iraq-9/11 connection? Or was I simply restating what some of the highest level champions of the war had said before?

Here we are in the post 9/11 world. It’s a frightening world we are told. It’s one that’s veritably bursting at the seams with armies of bearded Islamic fundamentalists who are jealous of our freedom to listen to bad pop music and shop at the mall. Sacrifices must be made, they say, to ensure that the U.S. remains free. Many of our freedoms must be curtailed in the name of safety and security. But, rest assured, once the Feds wrangle up all of those mean terrorists, everything will be back to normal. Or maybe not. Maybe our current state of affairs is the “new normal.” That seems to be the sentiment of Mr. Dick Cheney. As we see here, shortly after the 9/11 attacks he commented that,” Many of the steps we have now been forced to take will become permanent in American life, part of a ‘new normalcy’ that reflects ‘an understanding of the world as it is.’” Not exactly an uplifting appraisal of the situation there. And certainly the future sounds grim. According to the Vice President we have nothing to look forward to in America but a police state.

Well, I’ve spent the last ten years working at the Pittsburgh International Airport. And I can tell you that the police state in existence at the airport these days serves as a constant reminder that our freedoms are really just one more terrorist attack away from being dealt their death blows. Everyday I hear the announcement informing me that the Homeland Security threat level has been raised to orange. I am told to be aware of the increased threat and report any suspicious behavior to any airport employee, police officer, or TSA representative. Just in case anyone is not familiar with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) they are part of the Bush created abomination known as the Department of Homeland Security. They are in charge of airport security. Completely. Yes, how strange, the small government conservative George W. Bush nationalized airport security. Next thing you know his administration will spend 5 times as much money as the “liberal” Clinton administration. What? That’s already happened? Well, how about that?

Returning to police state U.S.A., why is it that ordinary Americans should be forced to relinquish ANY of their freedoms to remain safe? Ordinary Americans did not carry out the attacks on 9/11. So why are ordinary Americans treated like criminals in airports? Ordinary Americans had nothing to do with any alleged plot to sneak liquid explosives onto jets. So why is it that ordinary Americans can no longer bring their bottles of water through the security checkpoint. I will never forget that day in August, 2006 when the news of the “plot” resulted in the government mandated trashing of perfectly fine bottles of water, expensive makeup, toiletries, and anything that was liquid. An acquaintance of mine had to discard his gel insoles. I was horrified as I saw this happening. These people spent their hard earned money on all of these items and because it was “reported” that some people in England had concocted a liquid explosive plot, the government goons in their TSA uniforms were ordered to confiscate the private property of innocent Americans. And what’s even worse is that none of the TSA employees seemed to have any compunction about what they were doing. Most were merely drones carrying out the orders of their superiors. But some of them even seemed energized by their new expanded authority.

Why can’t more people see where this is leading? Every “attempted” attack will result in a greater loss of liberties. And thanks to the unceasing efforts of George W. Bush to terrorize the country, an actual attack could result in a declaration of Martial Law.

Just think. How much sense does this make? We are told we should give up our freedoms in order to protect them. How will the punishment of innocent Americans for the actions of terrorists lead to the end of the U.S.A.’s problem with terrorism?

But wait. Then again, on the other hand, maybe it will. Maybe our government really doesn’t need an expensive and deadly War On Terror. The dreaded “Islamofascists” hate us for our freedoms, right? So perhaps it could all be done on the cheap by simply taking away all of our freedoms which are so despised by those “Islamofascists.” Yeah, what am I complaining about? Sounds like we’re on the right track after all.

The President of the United States of America is arguably the most powerful person in the entire world. When I talk to friends, coworkers, or just some random people I happen to meet most of them seem to believe this is true. More importantly, most of them never question whether or not having such power vested in one person is really such a great idea. They usually agree that because the President possesses so much power we need to have a President who is of superb moral character, virtuous in every way, and is also a strong “leader of the ‘free world'” who will never rest until everyone, everywhere can enjoy the wondrous fruits of social democracy. And if that democracy has to be delivered through the barrel of a gun, that’s alright. Just slap the “humanitarian” label on the mission and everything will be just grand.

Regrettably,  the level of Presidential power is rarely debated, just the qualities of the prospective grabbers of that power. And since we are now in a Presidential election year, we are reminded incessantly by CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and just about every newspaper about the importance of this election. We simply do not see this kind of fervor for any other election. Local elections? Who cares? Just tell me about the Presidential race. After all, that’s the person who’s going to take over as supreme ruler of the planet. Why does this NOT strike people as being horribly wrong? Well, basically because most people have been conditioned to believe that the President of the U.S.A. is the utmost in politicians. The person who becomes President has reached the big leagues. He or she has won the American Idol of politics. I suppose I could write various analogies forever, but you see where I’m going with this. In schools, especially public schools, we are taught to revere the President. We are taught that even if we disagree vehemently with the actions of the President, we should respect him or her simply because he or she holds the office of President. Is this NOT how a dictator’s subjects are supposed to behave?

And what are we creating in this country if not a dictatorship? Even our elected representatives in Congress have abrogated their responsibilities. The Constitution states clearly that the power to declare war is vested in the Congress, and still the President has been given free rein to attack any locale on the globe whenever he or she fancies some nice war making. Furthermore, no one seems to care about Presidential signing statements which really amount to the President saying, “this bill is nice and all, but this part, this part and this part over here won’t apply to me.” And not to be forgotten, of course, is the unitary executive theory which has been put into practice by numerous U.S. Presidents through the years. However, the big prize goes to none other than George W. Bush. Here’s a little gem from wikipedia:

“President Bush has applied the theory of the “unitary executive” in a wide range of substantive issues, often issuing signing statements detailing how the executive branch will construe legislation. President Bush issued at least 435 signing statements in his first term alone – more than the combined number issued by all previous US presidents. From President Monroe’s administration (1817-25) to the Carter administration (1977-81), the executive branch issued a total of 75 signing statements to protect presidential prerogatives. From Reagan’s administration through Clinton’s, the total number of signing statements ever issued, by all presidents, rose to a total 322.”

All hail the Decider in Chief!

And just for some fun here’s the Declaration of Independence. Notice all of the reasons why the King of England was so unpopular at that time. You’ll find that many of them are the same reasons why various “Kings of America” should have been dethroned over the years.

Ron Paul has said numerous times that George W. Bush campaigned in 2000 on a humble foreign policy. In the debates this point has gone completely ignored by the moderators and all of the media pundits. But just eight years ago the Republican candidate for president advocated a foreign policy that is strikingly similar to Ron Paul’s. Strange isn’t it, how in 2008, calling for no nation building, and no telling other countries how to run their governments will quickly get one branded an “isolationist.”

Now, I know many people will shriek that “9/11 changed everything.” But they are wrong. 9/11 didn’t change Bush’s foreign policy. A neocon cabal, many of the same people who were involved with The Project For The New American Century, changed the policy. 9/11 was the “new Pearl Harbor” of which they spoke. It was a catalyzing event that accelerated their militant plans of global American hegemony.

The Republicans have castigated Ron Paul for his devotion to a foreign policy of non-intervention. In 2000 they nominated a man who favored a very similar foreign policy. Today it is unfathomable to most Republicans that the U.S. should not effect regime change in countries all over the world. If you don’t share their love of global military domination they’ll tell you you’re not really a Republican. But, this you tube says it all. Just listen to Bush in 2000, and remember he was the REPUBLICAN nominee for president. My, my, how far the party has fallen.