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Global Eye -- Snuffed Candles
By Chris Floyd
The Moscow Times
8-01-03

In a stunning development, the Bush Regime announced its unconditional and abject surrender in Iraq this week. The humiliating retreat was sounded by one of the chief architects of the war, deputy Pentagon chief Paul Wolfowitz.

Well, perhaps it wasn't entirely unconditional. For the Bushists didn't actually surrender any of the territory they conquered, or the oil resources they are swiftly and ruthlessly exploiting through a series of quiet sweetheart deals that are tying up Iraq's national wealth for years to come, or the military forces they have thrust into the line of vicious and unremitting fire from Iraqis who object to the presence of foreign troops in their "Homeland." But what they did surrender, at long last, was the pretense that their pre-invasion warmongering -- built on iron certainties and "smoking guns" and "bulletproof evidence" (Don Rumsfeld's phrase) -- ever had the slightest connection to reality.

The twin towers of the Bushist case for war -- "imminent threat" and "connection to al-Qaida" -- have been crumbling for weeks, even among the bovine intellects of the Bush-whipped U.S. media, who had happily munched the thrice-chewed cud of the Regime's transparent mendacity during the long build-up to the invasion. Wolfowitz provided the final coup de grace on national television last Sunday, during an appearance on Rupert Murdoch's propaganda mill, Fox News.

Wolfowitz admitted that the entire public case for war was based on nothing but "murky intelligence." Of course, his boss, Rumsfeld, had already confessed that the war brief relied on "evidence" whose most credible tidbits were five years old at the latest -- a revelation that in a normal democracy would have brought down the government and led to criminal trials all around, but which passed virtually unnoticed by the dribbling bovines as they dully regurgitated their "embedded" cud.

But Wolfowitz went even further. Not only was the intelligence way past its sell-by date, it was "murky" at best -- that is to say, it was unclear, unsound, not entirely reliable, open to question, subject to doubt, impossible to confirm, of indeterminate veracity, riddled with falsities, marred by forgeries, unreliable. What's more, the White House itself confirmed that the Bushist bigwigs knew the intelligence was unreliable when they rolled out their war drums last fall.

In a maladroit attempt to extricate itself from the silly sideshow over "16 words" in a Bush speech referring to a non-existent attempt by Iraq to buy non-weaponized uranium ore from Niger, last week the Bushists released a top-secret "National Intelligence Estimate" from October 2002. The intent was to show that the Regime really did have some raw -- if "murky" -- data about Iraq's alleged nuclear program. But the NIE also revealed that intelligence services were actually telling the White House that Saddam Hussein was not connected to al-Qaida and was not a threat to the United States. In fact, according to the top spooks, there was only one circumstance under which Saddam would be likely to join forces with bin Laden and launch terrorist attacks against Americans: if the Bush Regime invaded Iraq.

So Wolfowitz knew, Rumsfeld knew, Colin Powell knew, Condi Rice knew, Dick Cheney knew, even President Can't-Chew-a-Pretzel knew that launching a war of aggression against Iraq would increase the terrorist danger to ordinary U.S. citizens. They knew this all along. They know it now. They just don't care. For them, the game -- sweetheart deals and he-man swagger -- is worth the candle. Unfortunately for the folks at home and the soldiers abroad, the "candle" just happens to be the lives of the American people.

Thus by their own admission -- their own intelligence reports, their own butt-covering revisionism, their own natterings to Murdochian moo-cows -- the Bushists have utterly abandoned every element of the public case they made to "justify" the killing of 10,000 innocent people during the invasion and the daily deaths of more Iraqis and Americans in the brutalizing atmosphere of occupation.

So why did they go to war? If their public argument for the invasion was a dungheap of known fabrications and confabulations from the beginning, then what were the real motives? We've often dealt here with the fantasies of global dominance openly propounded by Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz over the years, from their days in the first Bush Administration to their tub-thumping in various extremist pressure groups during the Clinton interregnum -- fantasies fixated on the violent death of demonized subhumans in distant lands, although couched in the bureaucratic jargon of "geopolitical considerations" and "national interests." Some of these published plans, which included predatory designs on Iraq's territory and resources, are now more than a decade old, long pre-dating the "war on terrorism" -- despite Wolfowitz's ludicrous claim to Fox that the recent aggression was "the central battle" in this conveniently nebulous and profitably endless crusade.

But beyond these dark -- indeed, "murky" -- bloodlusts and grandiose stratagems, which no doubt played their part, the "facts on the ground" in Iraq increasingly indicate that the prime mover behind the invasion was simple, brutal, ugly, banal greed. The Bushists are making money hand over iron fist from their conquest, and preparing to turn Iraq into a playground for unfettered crony capitalism. We'll be exploring the details here in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, we should all chew, like good bovines, on Wolfowitz's other chilling revelation this week: that "murky intelligence" (unsound, unreliable, marred by forgeries, etc.) is a perfectly acceptable basis for launching aggressive wars -- and could be used again when it's time for the next war.

"Out, out, brief candle!"

© 2003 Topplebush.com
August 11, 2003

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