US on dangerous road for world

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September 2003

 

   The power outage in a large section of northeastern US helped me reflect once again on the war in Iraq. Even though people in the US seemed to handle the lack of electricity, gas, and water with patient calm, I wonder what their reaction would be if this went on for weeks and months. And that is the connection with Iraq. Ever since we devastated Iraq with our fire power, the people of Iraq have been dealing with this kind of situation for months. Additionally, what infrastructure that existed before the war has been severely damaged.

   In January I wrote an article strongly protesting our going to war in Iraq. Many people personally told me how much they supported that article. A few disagreed. One person even asked me after the major fighting was over whether I changed my mind. I was dumbstruck by the question but valued the dialog that followed.

   My response was basically this: Just because we "won" the war and ousted Hussein doesn't mean that we were right in going to war. In fact, the reasons for my opposition are stronger now than before the war because all my objections and fears about the war have come true - and more!

   I opposed the war because the main reasons for going to war, according to our President, were 1) Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and it posed an imminent threat to the security of the United States, and 2) Iraq was responsible in part for the attack on the US on 9/11. Both of these reasons have been proven false!

   I also opposed the war because we did not have world support and we rejected the one world authority that has meaning: the United Nations. Finally I opposed the war because President Bush is inaugurating a foreign policy of preemptive strikes against sovereign nations, a policy that is totally contrary to our values.

   Although I didn't articulate it in January, I also feared the aftermath of the war because I was convinced that this administration is woefully ignorant of the Muslim and Arab world. It thinks that our way of life is the "right" way of life for everyone and everyone had better jump on board. This fear is also being realized in the obvious confusion and lack of direction in Iraq with predictions of US involvement in Iraq for years at the cost of billions of dollars!

   Shocking stories of the use of napalm and depleted uranium by US forces in Iraq continue to create doubt and confusion over the morality of the US conduct of the war. The killing of Americans nearly every day is a constant reminder of ineptitude of our leadership in post-war Iraq.

   And for what purpose?

 

The purpose was clearly stated by the Project for the New American Century in a report in 2000 before Bush was elected: "The United States is the world's only superpower, combining preeminent military power, global technological leadership, and the world's largest economy… America's grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible." It went on to say that "the need for substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein" ("The Project for a New American Empire", Sojourners Magazine, Sept-Oct 2003, p 27-30 and http://www.newamericancentury.org/). [1] This report admitted that the process of accomplishing this transformation was "likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor." That event occurred on September 11, 2001. Within days, the Project released a letter arguing that "even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq."

   Former Gen. Wesley Clark reported on NBC's Meet the Press on June 15, 2003 that he received a phone call at home on 9/11 from the White House, saying, "You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein." Clark asked for evidence and never got any.

   What relation does this Project have to do with the Bush foreign policy? The key players in the Project are Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Asst Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Peter Rodman, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, Senior Director of the National Security Council Elliot Abrams, former Director of the CIA and member of the Defense Policy Board James Woolsey, and Chief of Staff Lewis Libby ("The Project for a New American Empire", Sojourners Magazine, Sept-Oct 2003, p 27-30).

   It is no accident that we went to war against Iraq earlier this year. It was planned before Bush became president. Because Cheney was Bush's man in making appointments to his administration, it is no accident that all these people are in the administration. There is a plan here for establishing a new American Empire! Iraq was the first military move. If Bush is reelected, there will surely be other wars.

   President Bush told Mahmoud Abbas recently, "God told me to strike at al Quaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East" ("'Road map is a life saver for us', PM Abbas tells Hamas", haaretzdaily.com, June 24, 2003).

He has uttered such things before.  He believes that he has been chosen by God to lead our nation, especially in the aftermath of 9/11.

   Given the combination of self-appointed divine authority and his militant advisors, we can only guess where Bush will lead this country in the future. I think we are on a dangerous road of ruin for the United States and the world. Thank God and our early American leaders for having presidential elections every four years. And next year is one of those years. It is not too early to prepare for the next election. Is this the man you want running our foreign policy for four more years?

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[1] "The Project for a New American Empire", Sojourners Magazine, Sept-Oct 2003, p 27-30 and http://www.newamericancentury.org/