Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Shameful disconnect from truth

Deception's damning documents
By Paul Rogat Loeb June 21, 2005

(Excerpt from Boston Globe online)

I follow Iraq pretty closely, but was taken aback when Charlie Clements, now head of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, described driving in Iraq months before the war ''and a building would just explode, hit by a missile from 30,000 feet." ''What is that building?" Clements would ask. ''Oh, that's a telephone exchange." Later, at a conference at Nevada's Nellis Air Force Base, Clements heard a US general boast ''that he began taking out assets that could help in resisting an invasion at least six months before war was declared."

Earlier this month, Jeremy Scahill wrote a powerful piece on the website of The Nation, describing a huge air assault in September 2002. ''Approximately 100 US and British planes flew from Kuwait into Iraqi airspace," Scahill writes. ''At least seven types of aircraft were part of this massive operation, including US F-15 Strike Eagles and Royal Air Force Tornado ground-attack planes. They dropped precision-guided munitions on Saddam Hussein's major western air-defense facility, clearing the path for Special Forces helicopters that lay in wait in Jordan. Earlier attacks had been carried out against Iraqi command and control centers, radar detection systems, Revolutionary Guard units, communication centers, and mobile air-defense systems. The Pentagon's goal was clear: Destroy Iraq's ability to resist."

Why aren't we talking about this? As Scahill points out, this was a month before the congressional vote, and two months before the UN resolution. Supposedly part of enforcing ''no fly zones," the bombings were actually systematic assaults on Iraq's capacity to defend itself. The United States had never declared war. Bush had no authorization, not even a fig leaf. He was simply attacking another nation because he'd decided to do so. This preemptive war preempted our own Congress, as well as international law.

Most Americans don't know these prewar attacks ever happened. There was little coverage at the time, and there's been little since. The bombings that destroyed Iraq's air defenses were under the radar for both the American media and American citizens.

If coverage of the Downing Street memo continues to increase, I suspect the administration will try to dismiss it as mere diplomatic talk, just inside baseball. But they weren't just manipulating intelligence so they could attack no matter how Saddam Hussein responded. They weren't only bribing would-be allies into participation. They were fighting a war they'd planned long before. They just didn't bother to tell the American public.


Mr. Natural said...

Lyin, murderin outlaw sonsabitches!

dailyread said...