"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"
Oppose War on Iraq Petition * Ritter - Kucinich - McDermott
7 October 2002
1) Truth Is Already A Victim... And The War Hasn't Started
2) Scott Ritter - Guardian - "Help us to stop the war"
3) Kucinich & McDermott -- Questioning Bush's War Motives
Finally someone has posted a petition with some teeth in it. Michael Moore, (best selling author of "Stupid White Men") is sponsoring the following Petition:
"We call on the Democrats in Congress to oppose a war on Iraq, to vote "No" to Bush's war cries. We pledge to never again vote for any Democratic member of Congress who supports George W. Bush's war against Iraq. To the Democrats in Congress, we give you fair warning: You are either with us, or you are fired."
You can sign and send off this petition from:
Charles Jenks (of Traprock Peace Center) yesterday, stated that Senator Byrd's intent to filibuster the Senate Iraq War Resolution Vote was undermined by a recent Senate vote not to have open-ended dialog. Please keep the pressure on any politician, let them know about the pledge "to never again vote for any Democratic member of Congress who supports George W. Bush's war against Iraq."
For information on contacting Congress and more, visit Flyby's Updated Action Page to Stop the WAR Resolution:
Item 1 in this issue is about the pseudo-democracy-rhetoric that would actually begin a new phase for a race war and for world domination, and chaos. Item 2 is on Scott Ritter speaking with the Guardian newspaper in London. The Constitution is under threat, and here is one hero willing to take a stand with a those who believe in peace and freedom. [Scott Ritter is speaking at Deerfield Academy, (Deerfield, MA) on October 15.] Item 3 is on Congressman Kucinich and McDermott, in September, willing to question the president's motives for an illegal war on Iraq.
"Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our Fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
- Abraham Lincoln
1) Truth Is Already A Victim... And The War Hasn't Started
Truth Is Already A Victim... And The War Hasn't Started
By Eric Margolis
Contributing Foreign Editor Toronto Sun
October 6, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO -- Once the United States overthrows Saddam Hussein and "liberates" Iraq, it will then proceed to spread democracy, human rights, and enlightenment throughout the Mideast. So vows the Bush administration's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, an academic expert on Soviet affairs.
One hopes her preposterous assertion is simply part of the administration's propaganda buildup before invading oil-rich Iraq.
Truth is indeed the first casualty of war. Recall in 1990 the famous tearjerker about Kuwaiti babies thrown from incubators by evil Iraqi soldiers, a canard that ignited war fever across America, but turned out to be a total fabrication. Or White House claims to have photographic evidence of an impending Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia. These claims were also phony, but they succeeded in stampeding the petrified Saudis into allowing the U.S. to permanently station military forces in the kingdom, where they remain to this day.
If Rice really believes the U.S. will bring democracy to the Mideast, she must also believe in the tooth fairy. Such naivete is unacceptable in a senior policy maker.
Unsurprisingly, Rice's silly claim was greeted from Morocco to Iran with profoundest derision by the very people she aspires to "liberate." In fact, the Bush administration's stated goal of bringing democracy to the Arabs faithfully echoes claims by Victorian Britain's imperialists that they were conquering and exploiting Africa and Asia only to bring the benefits of Christianity and western civilization to benighted heathen.
Fifty years ago, Middle Easterners would have believed Rice. After World War II, they hailed the United States as the symbol of honest government, decency, generosity and opposition to colonialism. When America's great president, Dwight Eisenhower, ordered the British, French and Israelis to end their 1956 aggression against Egypt, the U.S. was a supreme hero across Asia and Africa.
In the ensuing half-century, the U.S. has gone from hero to supreme villain. America's ever-growing support for Israel was half the reason, but the other half was the U.S. policy of keeping oil prices low, and supply high, by imposing despotic surrogate rulers on the region.
The U.S. has dominated the Arab world for the past 50 years. What has it done to promote democracy or human rights there, Miss Rice? Name one democracy, one nation ruled by laws, one nation not run by the secret police.
Take a tour of the Arab states under U.S. "protection."
Morocco - A medieval monarchy, as brutal as Iraq, with thousands of political prisoners tortured and confined in underground dungeons.
Algeria - Sunk in a nightmare civil war. When Algeria held the Arab world's first free vote in 1991, Islamic parties won. The army, backed by France and the U.S., annulled the elections and has ruled since.
Tunisia - A military dictatorship.
Egypt - Home to 40% of all Arabs, and intellectual heart of the Arab world, is a military dictatorship with a ruthless secret police. They routinely torture and murder opponents. Many thousands are held in political prisons, the press is censored and parliament is a sham. As in the case of Iran under the late Shah Reza Pahlavi, the FBI, CIA, and NSA all assist Egypt's secret police in repressing opposition and keeping the military regime in power. Ayman al-Zawahri, 9/11 chief planner, was tortured for years in Egyptian prisons.
Jordan - Decent and well-run, but no democracy. The U.S.-backed king and his Bedouin army rule a nation that is over 60% Palestinian.
Saudi Arabia - A feudal monarchy of 7,000 princes. Political opponents are muzzled or charged with drug dealing and beheaded. The Saudis sell oil to the U.S. and its allies on the cheap. In exchange, they get protection against their neighbours and their own people. Saudi Arabia buys billions of U.S., British and French arms it cannot use and keeps $100 billion in the U.S. financial system. Osama bin Laden claims the West steals Arab oil. He says oil should cost US $300 a barrel, not $20-30 - true terrorist talk to SUV owners.
Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates - all tiny feudal monarchies inherited by the U.S. from the British Empire. Oman, another monarchy, is discreetly run by British intelligence, MI6.
Arab nations not under direct or indirect U.S. domination - Libya, Syria, Yemen, Sudan - are also nasty dictatorships (Yemen less so). Lebanon is a tribal/feudal society dominated by Syria. Saddam's brutal Iraq was a close U.S. ally from 1979-90.
Now, suddenly, Rice and the neo-conservatives who are pulling the Bush administration's strings, claim they will bring the balm of democracy to the wretched Arabs.
But why now, after half a century of fostering petro-despotism? Why the sudden conversion on the road to Baghdad? At the very same time the Bush administration is busy shoring up Pakistan's military dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and maintaining a U.S.-imposed regime in chaotic, "liberated" Afghanistan whose leader, Hamid Karzai, must be protected by teams of U.S. bodyguards from his own unloving people.
In the buildup to the 1991 war against Iraq, George Bush Sr. promised a Palestinian state. This time around, the whopper du jour is democracy and freedom for all Arabs, and especially Iraqis. Why, just recently, George W. Bush promised Palestinians democracy - provided, of course, they didn't re-elect Yasser Arafat.
Eric Margolis can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
2) Scott Ritter - Guardian - "Help us to stop the war"
Help us to stop the war -
(As a US Republican, I reject George Bush's illegal and unconstitutional plan to attack Iraq ) -
by Scott Ritter
Monday October 7, 2002
As a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and as a registered member of the Republican party who voted for George Bush in the last presidential election, I have to admit to a certain trepidation and uncertainty when I was asked by Labour MPs to participate in the massive anti-war rally in London on September 28. In my way of thinking, mass demonstrations, regardless of the righteousness of the cause, were the theatre of the political left, and not something with which I should be associated. I was proven wrong on all counts. The outpouring of democratic will that occurred on that day came not only from the left, but from across the breadth of mainstream British society. It sent a message to a Blair government that had grown increasingly isolated from public opinion: UK support for an American unilateral war on Iraq would not be tolerated. That message met a response a few days later from the Labour party at its annual conference in Blackpool.
Democracy in action is a wonderful thing.
Across the Atlantic, in the United States, a debate is about to begin in the US Congress over the granting of sweeping war powers that would enable President Bush to wage war against Iraq, even if such action were unilateral and lacking in authority from the United Nations. To many Americans, myself included, the granting of such powers represents a breach of constitutional responsibility on the part of Congress, which alone under the constitution of the United States is authorised to declare war. There is at least one US senator - Robert Byrd of West Virginia - who recognises this, and has indicated his willingness to launch a filibuster of the debate. Senator Byrd is famous for carrying a copy of the US constitution in his breast pocket, and pulling it out on the floor of the Senate to remind fellow senators what American democracy is founded on. One man fighting in defence of the basic foundation of American society. Where are the large-scale US demonstrations in support of this struggle? Where are the voices of outrage over what amounts to a frontal assault on the constitution of the United States? Democracy silenced is awful.
The constitution has always guided me in my actions as an American citizen. It establishes the US as a nation of laws, and sets high standards for the ideals we Americans strive to achieve as a nation. As an officer of Marines, I took an oath to defend the US constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is an oath I take very seriously and I am willing to give my life in defence of this document - something I demonstrated during my time in uniform, including service in Operation Desert Storm.
I am no pacifist, but I am opposed to President Bush's rush towards war with Iraq this time around. As signatories to the UN charter, Americans have agreed to abide by a body of international law that explicitly governs the conditions under which nations may go to war. All require authority of the security council, either through an invocation of article 51 (self defence), or a resolution passed under chapter seven of the charter (collective security). President Bush's case for war simply has not been demonstrated to meet any of these criteria. The president repeatedly announced that Iraq has failed to comply with its obligation to disarm, and as such poses a threat to international peace and security. The president declared that Iraq must allow weapons inspectors to return to Iraq, without conditions, with unfettered access to all sites. Iraq's failure to allow inspectors to return to work since their withdrawal in December 1998 has prompted fear in many circles (recently demonstrated by the UK government's dossier on Iraqi weapons programs) that Iraq has taken advantage of the intervening time to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programs dismantled under UN supervision. With no inspectors in Iraq, it was impossible to know for certain what the regime of Saddam Hussein was up to; and, given Iraq's past record of deceit over these weapons, the US and others were justified in presuming ill intent.
But now Iraq has agreed to allow the inspectors to return, unconditionally, and to be held accountable to the rule of law as set forth in existing security council resolutions governing Iraq's disarmament. The opportunity finally exists to bring clarity to years of speculation about the potential threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, as well as an opportunity to resolve this ongoing crisis of international law peacefully.
But President Bush refuses to take "yes" for an answer. The Bush administration's actions lay bare the mythology that this war is being fought over any threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. It has made it clear that its objective is the elimination of Saddam Hussein. And this is where I have a fundamental problem. The UN charter prohibits regime removal. The US constitution states that international agreements entered into by the United States carry the force of law. The US has signed the UN charter. Regime removal is not only a violation of international law, it is unconstitutional.
There is a way to deal with the need to change a regime deemed to be a risk to international peace and security, and that is through the UN. If President Bush truly wanted to seek regime removal in Baghdad, then he would push for an indictment of Saddam Hussein and his senior leadership in the international court for crimes against humanity, something that should not prove hard to do, given the record of the Butcher of Baghdad (and something other members of the UN would clearly support as an alternative to war). But seeking judgment through the international court requires a recognition by the US of the primacy of international law, something the Bush administration has been loath to do.
The fact of the matter is this crisis between Iraq and the US goes beyond even the issue of regime removal. It represents the first case study of the implementation of a new US national security strategy, published last month, which sets forth a doctrine of unilateralism that capitalises on American military and economic might to maintain the US as the sole superpower, to impose our will on the rest of the world, even through pre-emptive military action. This strategy is a rejection of multilateralism, a turning away from the concepts of international law.
This new Bush doctrine of American unilateralism reeks of imperial power, the very power against which Americans fought a revolution more than 200 years ago. The streets of Washington DC are empty of demonstrators protesting at this frontal assault on American democracy. Will the streets of London be filled again with protesters against this assault on the rule of international law? I certainly hope so, because the people of Britain could lead by example, sending a clear signal to fellow practitioners of democracy in America that when it comes to determining what actions a government takes in the name of the people, the will of the people cannot, and will not, be ignored.
Scott Ritter was a UN weapons inspector in Iraq in 1991-98 and chief of the concealment investigations team. His interview with William Rivers Pitt forms the core of War on Iraq (Profile Books)
Videos and books with Scott Ritter is available at http://www.traprockpeace.org
[Scott Ritter is speaking at Deerfield Academy, (Deerfield, MA) on October 15.]
You can e-mail him: WSRitter@aol.com
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,805900,00.html
3) Kucinich & McDermott -- Questioning Bush's War Motives
Demos - Iraq No Imminent Threat, Bush Wants Saddam's Oil
By Jeff Johnson
CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau Chief
September 14, 2002
WASHINGTON, DC (CNSNews.com) - Two House Democrats said Friday that Saddam Hussein's on-going effort to amass chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons poses no immediate threat to the United States, and that the Bush administration has ulterior motives for pursuing war against Iraq.
Rep's. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) told reporters and opponents of military action against Iraq at a Capitol Hill briefing that politics and oil, not fear that Iraq will use weapons of mass destruction, are the driving factors behind the president's call for a regime change in that country.
"There is no imminent threat by Iraq against the United States. Iraq does not have nuclear capabilities that anyone has been able to specifically determine, nor does it have the ability to deliver such a weapon, nor does it have the intent to do so," Kucinich claimed. "It could be said by Iraq that they none are facing the imminent threat."
But, if Iraq poses no danger to the U.S. or its allies, why is President Bush threatening to attack the Persian Gulf country? Kucinich believes the answer lies beneath the sands of Iraq.
"Oil is a factor. How much [of a factor] is anybody's guess, but to discount it as a factor is, I think, to be misleading," he continued. "It's not a conspiracy theory to bring it in because, after all, it is the second largest oil supply in the world."
The congressman said the White House should be focusing on healthcare, the cost of prescription drugs, unemployment, the economy, corporate fraud, and retirement security.
"Therein is the immediate threat to America's security," Kucinich added. "Iraq is a handy diversion."
McDermott said the lack of focus on those issues points to another motivation for the administration's push for Hussein's removal.
"This war business has obfuscated, hidden, beaten down any discussion of domestic issues," he charged. "I think that the president may have a two-pronged plan here, one over oil and the other is to win the fall election."
McDermott originally came to the briefing only to listen, but spoke when Kucinich invited him to the table. McDermott charged that the original military action against Iraq - launched with United Nation's approval after Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 - was also primarily undertaken because of fear that the U.S. would lose access to foreign oil.
"That was really about the Kuwaiti oil fields and now we're back into this again," he claimed. "I, personally, am one of those who thinks [oil] is a much larger issue than people wish to talk about."
The allegation of access to oil as a motive for removing Hussein is not frequently heard publicly, McDermott said, because of an organized effort by the Bush administration to squelch such discussions.
"The political operatives in the White House have been very careful to spin it away from oil," he said. "Anytime anybody tries to see a connection, they spin it the other way."
Kucinich suggested sarcastically that, if and when they do vote on any administration proposal to engage Iraq, members of Congress should perhaps have a new choice for voting.
"Maybe we should have four buttons on our voting machine," he said with a laugh, "one that says, 'yes;' one that says, 'no;' another one that says, 'present;' and a fourth one that says, 'fill 'er up.'"
Kucinich insisted that any action the U.S. takes against Iraq, without permission from the United Nations, "would clearly be a violation of international law."
"This is a question of whether we become an aggressor nation," he claimed. "This would change what America is all about."
Kucinich is urging his colleagues to wait to see what action, if any, the United Nations might take. President Bush, however, wants Congress to deliberate the issue and vote on a resolution concerning Iraq before it adjourns to campaign for the November elections.
"I can't imagine an elected member of the United States Senate or House of Representatives saying, 'I think I'm going to wait for the United Nations to make a decision,'" Bush said Friday morning prior to the accusations by Kucinich and McDermott.
"It seems like to me that if you're representing the United States, you ought to be making a decision on what's best for the United States," he continued. "If I were running for office, I'm not sure how I'd explain to the American people saying, 'Vote for me, and, oh, by the way, on a matter of national security, I think I'm going to wait for somebody else to act."
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