People were operating with the false intelligence cooked up by George W. Bush's neocons at the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans. However, the entire world did not agree on the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. There were endless streams of people calling for not attacking Iraq. They were demanding that the weapons inspectors be allowed to finish. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino is either a liar or woefully ignorant. Many people said that WMD would not be found and that the whole thing would end up a quagmire. Of course, Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld were planning to stay in Iraq all along for the prize of oil and to deny other would-be empires, just as Paul Wolfowitz wrote in his Defence Planning Guidance in 1992.
by Ray McGovern
Matilda is waltzing home from Iraq, and the Australians are lucky but chastened.
Lucky for having lost not one soldier in combat of the 2,000 sent to join the "coalition of the willing" attack on Iraq in March 2003.
Chastened because Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is now pulling no punches in decrying the subservience of his predecessor, John Howard, to Washington.
Announcing the withdrawal of the 550 Australian troops still in Iraq on Monday, Rudd echoed recent charges by former White House spokesman Scott McClellan about the Bush administration's "shading" of intelligence to "justify" an unnecessary war.
Rudd told Parliament he was most concerned by "the manner in which the decision to go to war was made; the abuse of intelligence information, a failure to disclose to the Australian people the qualified nature of that intelligence"; and the government's silence on "the prewar warning that an attack on Iraq would increase the terrorist threat, not decrease it."
"This government does not believe that our alliance with the United States mandates automatic compliance with every element of the United States' foreign policy."
Stung by Rudd's candor, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino fell back on the canard that "the entire world" agreed on the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. As President Lyndon Johnson would have put it, that dog won't hunt.
If all agreed, why then was President George W. Bush unable to secure the approval of the UN Security Council, without which an armed attack on another country is illegal under international and U.S. law?
Firstly, that Iraq did not pose a serious enough security threat to justify a war. Secondly, that too many things could go wrong. And, thirdly, that war was still totally unnecessary because options short of war were yet to be exhausted.
My first concern is especially relevant today. It was based on my assessment that Iraq's conventional armed forces were weak, that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program was disjointed and contained, and that there was no hard evidence of any active cooperation between Iraq and al-Qaeda.
Well, most often the government deliberately skewed the truth by taking the ambiguity out of the issue. Key intelligence assessment qualifications like "probably," "could," and "uncorroborated evidence suggests" were frequently dropped. Much more useful words like "massive" and "mammoth" were included, even though such words had not been offered to the government by the intelligence agencies.