"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Distorting History

Dear Madam,

In The Irish Times today (16/07/05) Martin Mansergh writes "It should not be forgotten, however, that 9/11 came largely out of the blue, at a time when Bush was disposed to pull in the US's horns rather than stretch its power." A cursory glance over the events leading up to 9/11 would reveal the canyon like gap in this account of US foreign policy prior to the attack on the World Trade centre.

Following George Bush's appointment in January 2001 there followed several meetings of US officials in order to agree on how best to facilitate the removal of Saddam from power. Soon after the inauguration then Treasury Sec. Paul O'Neill has revealed that "From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go, that going after Saddam was topic "A"." In February " U.S. and British aircraft attacked targets near Baghdad. U.S. Defense officials said 24 American and British planes struck six Iraqi military targets five to 20 miles from Baghdad using various long-range precision-guided weapons. The attack was the first Western strike against the capital since December 1998, during Operation Desert Fox."

In April a report commissioned by former US Secretary of State James Baker and the Council on Foreign Relations titled; "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century" was submitted to Vice President Cheney. "It warns that the US is running out of oil, with a painful end to cheap fuel already in sight. It argues that "the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma," and that one of the "consequences" of this is a "need for military intervention" to secure its oil supply. It argues that Iraq needs to be overthrown so the US can control its oil." Later that month during a National Security Council deputy principals meeting, "Paul Wolfowitz first floats the idea of tying Iraq to terrorism. He asserts that Iraq must be involved in terrorism, since Bin Laden couldn't possibly have attacked the World Trade Center in '93 alone. "One little terrorist group like that couldn't possibly have staged that operation. It must have been Iraq.""

The recently released downing street memos make clear that "If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work." The political context was to be garnered by allowing the "Intelligence and facts...being fixed around the policy." The events of 9/11 facilitated the US/UK administration goal of overthrowing Saddam.

To say that "Bush was disposed to pull in the US's horns rather than stretch its power" is not just a distortion of history it is a grievous lack of respect for the truth. It is dis-information at its most destructive.

Yours etc...