Who Supports President Bush?

by Lawrence McGuire

Dissident Voice
March 8, 2003


On Thursday March 6, 2003 U.S. President George Bush stated: 


"I believe (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein is a threat to the American people. I believe he's a threat to the neighborhood in which he lives," Bush said, listing how the Iraqi regime has invaded neighboring countries and poisoned its own people. (http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/07/sprj.irq.main/index.html)


As I have pointed out in a previous article (IS IRAQ A THREAT TO THE U.S.? http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles/McGuire_Iraq.htm), according to the available evidence Saddam Hussein is not a threat to the American people.  However already in 2003, 14 Iraqi civilians have died because of U.S. and British bombing in Iraq. (http://www.iraqbodycount.net/bodycount.htm).


Thousands more Iraqi civilians are expected to die in the attack on Iraq.  The U.S. military strategists have announced a strategy of ‘Shock and Awe’ which they themselves compare to the attack on Hiroshima: 


“If the Pentagon sticks to its current war plan, one day in March the Air Force and Navy will launch between 300 and 400 cruise missiles at targets in Iraq. As CBS News Correspondent David Martin reports, this is more than number that were launched during the entire 40 days of the first Gulf War.


On the second day, the plan calls for launching another 300 to 400 cruise missiles.


"There will not be a safe place in Baghdad," said one Pentagon official who has been briefed on the plan.


"The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before," the official said.


The battle plan is based on a concept developed at the National Defense University. It's called "Shock and Awe" and it focuses on the psychological destruction of the enemy's will to fight rather than the physical destruction of his military forces.


"We want them to quit. We want them not to fight," says Harlan Ullman, one of the authors of the Shock and Awe concept which relies on large numbers of precision guided weapons.


"So that you have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but in minutes," says Ullman.



The United States also plans to use chemical weapons against Iraqi civilians, weapons that are banned by the chemical weapons convention:   “The US is preparing to use the toxic riot-control agents CS gas and pepper spray in Iraq in contravention of the Chemical Weapons Convention, provoking the first split in the Anglo-US alliance. "Calmative" gases, similar to the one that killed 120 hostages in the Moscow theatre siege last year, could also be employed.  The convention bans the use of these toxic agents in battle, not least because they risk causing an escalation to full chemical warfare.” (source, The Independent, UK,  US Prepares to Use Toxic Gases in Iraq by Geoffrey Lean and Severin Carrell http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0302-03.htm)


The United States also plans to use cluster bombs, which spread lethal ‘bomblets’ over a wide area and often do not explode on impact, but act as unexploded land mines.  In Kuwait, since the 1991 Gulf War :  “By the end of 2002, nearly 2,000 people had been killed or injured by exploding bombs which had been accidentally triggered by Kuwaitis. Often the people killed by unexploded bomblets from cluster bombs are children. (The Guardian, UK,  http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0228-01.htm).


According to the United Nations:  “…at least 10 million people could run out of food within six weeks of the start of hostilities if they did not receive emergency aid.” (Washington Post, Feb. 23, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0228-06.htm).


Remember that Iraq is a small country of 22 million people, half of whom are children. 


The Toronto Star reported this:  “A United Nations report leaked earlier this year suggested 500,000 Iraqi civilians could die in a U.S.-led attempt to topple Saddam. A study by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War estimated that 100,000 Iraqi civilians might die.”  (Toronto Star, February 28, 2003 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0228-09.htm)


This report from the United Nations also reports:  "In the event of a crisis, 30 percent of children under 5 would be at risk of death from malnutrition" [p. 3(5)]. With 4.2 million children under five in Iraq [p. 3(5)], this represents 1.26 million children under five.”  To read this United Nations report go here: http://www.casi.org.uk/pr/pr030217.html  


President Bush claims Saddam Hussein is a threat to Iraq’s neighbors.  In fact ALL of the countries who share borders with Iraq are opposed to this war, leaders AND citizens. 


In Turkey last week the Turkish Parliament voted against allowing the U.S. to use its territory as a base for attacking Iraq.  While they voted a huge anti-war demonstration was occurring outside in the streets.  Over 90% of Turkish civilians are opposed to this war.


Also last weekend the Arab League, a group of 22 countries which includes Syria, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, all neighbors of Iraq, voted UNANIMOUSLY to oppose this war.  This is from the Associated Press story about their meeting: 


SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt - Here are the main points of the final communique from Saturday's summit of leaders of the 22-member Arab League, as read by Secretary-General Amr Moussa.  Arab leaders registered "complete rejection to any aggression on Iraq or threatening the security of any Arab country and considering it a threat to Arab national security and (reiterate) the necessity of resolving the Iraqi issue through peaceful ways."


* Called for giving weapons inspectors enough time carry out their mission and called on inspectors to use objectivity in their work.


* Called on Arab countries to refrain from "participating in any military action that targets the security, safety and unity of Iraq or any other Arab country." (Source: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030301/ap_wo_en_ge/me_gen_arabs_iraq_communique_1)


The Non-aligned Movement, a group of 116 countries, met in late February and issued a strong statement opposed to this war :  “We believe that the peaceful resolution of the Iraqi crisis would ensure that the Security Council will also be in a position to ensure Iraq's sovereignty and the inviolability of its territorial integrity, political independence and security, and compliance with Paragraph 14 of its Resolution 687 on the establishment in the Middle East of a weapons of mass destruction free zone, which includes Israel.” (Source:  http://www.nam2003.com/events/newnam2003/readspeech.shtml?declare/dc2202_iraq)


In the United Nations Security Council, France, Germany, Russia, and China, have all stated opposition to this war. 


Although the Spanish leader Aznar is a supporter of this war, in Spain over three million citizens marched against the war on February 15, the biggest anti-war march in Spanish history.


Although the Britsh leader Blair is a supporter of this war, over one million people marched against this war in London on February 15th, the biggest anti-war march in British history.


In the United States, hundreds of thousands marched against the war on February 15th, with huge demos in New York City (400,000) and in San Francisco (200,000).  Last Wednesday, March 5, 2003, thousands of high school and university students all over the world walked out of classes in opposition to this war, including tens of thousands in the United States itself.


Also in the United States, 133 cities have passed resolutions opposing this war:  (Source: http://www.citiesforpeace.org)  


Direct action against the war is occurring daily in Italy, where people are blocking trains loaded with American military equipment, in England, where people are entering American military bases, in Ireland, where people are attacking U.S. military aircraft with hatchets and hammers.


A war against Iraq without United Nations approval would be a violation of the United Nations Charter and a violation of International Law.  (Rueters News Service, March 6, 2003, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0306-13.htm)


In order to pressure other countries to support a UN resolution for war against Iraq the U.S. Government is illegally spying on Security Council Members (The Observer, UK, http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,905936,00.html). But this story is being ignored in the U.S. media:  (Media Dodging U.N. Surveillance Story http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0306-12.htm).


According to Coleen Rowley (the FBI agent, who courageously pointed out last year that the Bush Administration had ignored warning signals about Sept. 11th,) the war against Iraq will increase the chances of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens:


“She said that many of her colleagues share her view that an American invasion of Iraq would result in a wave of new domestic terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups and that the F.B.I. was ill-prepared to deal with the new threat.” (Source, New York Times, March 6, 2003



Almost all the religious leaders in the world oppose this war, including the Pope, and the Archbishop of the Anglican church in England (New York Times, March 2003 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0306-03.htm, Seattle Post-Intelligencer



Hans Blix, today (March 7, 2003 http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/03/07/sprj.irq.un.transcript.blix/index.html) in

his report to the Security Council, said this: 


“How much time would it take to resolve the key remaining disarmament tasks? While cooperation can -- cooperation can and is to be immediate, disarmament, and at any rate verification of it, cannot be instant. Even with a proactive Iraqi attitude induced by continued outside pressure, it will still take some time to verify sites and items, analyze documents, interview relevant persons and draw conclusions. It will not take years, nor weeks, but months.”


Notice he said ‘months’.  Yet already there is a new resolution proposed by the United States and Great Britain and Spain to set an ultimatum of March 17th for Iraq to be completely disarmed or be invaded. 


Who supports this proposed massive assault on a civilian population, which will result in thousands if not millions of civilian casualties and more terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens? 


And why do they support it?


In my view the Bush Administration is going to war in order to control oil resources, to benefit U.S. oil companies and armament manufacturers, and to divert attention away from the huge economic problems currently facing the United States.


The issue of weapons of mass destruction is a pretext for a war of aggression.


The news from the United States today is about the number of Americans without health insurance:  “An estimated 75 million Americans were without health insurance at some point during the last two years, amounting to nearly a third of all Americans younger than 65, a study has found.”  (March 5, 2003 by the New York Times http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0305-04.htm)


Over 300,000 people lost their jobs in February.



Corporations with close ties to the Bush Administration will make millions of dollars (from taxpayers) as a result of this war: 


HOUSTON, March 6 (Reuters News Service) - A Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) has won the contract to oversee any firefighting operations at Iraqi oilfields after any U.S.-led invasion, a Defense Department source said on Thursday.


KBR was widely viewed by many in the oilfield services industry as the likely candidate to oversee firefighting in Iraq's oilfields. Halliburton does extensive logistic support work for the U.S. military.


Vice President Dick Cheney served as Halliburton's chief executive officer from 1995 to 2000.


Forbes magazine says it pretty clearly: 


“Who would be likely to get juicy deals in postwar Iraq? None of the big American or British oil companies are there. But if a U.S.-led force succeeds in ousting Saddam, it's a good bet that these companies will come in as soon as the fighting has died down.” (http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2002/1028/126.html).


I watched some of the U.N. Security Council meeting today on c-span.  Nowhere in all the grand words I heard from all those different diplomats did I hear mention of the innocent Iraqi civilians who will die if a war occurs.  


Yes Saddam Hussein is a dictator.  The U.S., with the help of Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, and some other countries sitting at the table of the United Nations security council, helped him become a dictator, and helped him remain in power.  They helped him acquire the weapons of mass destruction which they now are helping destroy.  And innocent Iraqi civilians have paid the price, and will pay a greater price if war comes.  Should we support a war against people who are not threatening us, who cannot threaten us, and who live under a dictatorship that we helped create?  And, at the risk of being redundant I emphasize, this war will kill thousands and thousands of Iraqi civilians, just like the first Gulf War did.  And perhaps at the end of it Saddam Hussein will be flown to a plush retirement home in Saudi Arabia.  Who knows?


Surely it is time for normal people all over the world to take whatever political action they can to change the way human society resolves conflict.  This war, like all wars, is about greed and power.  Isn’t it time for us to change?  If not now, when?


This weekend, for International Women’s Day, there is an anti-war march in Washington, DC led and organized by women:  http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?list=sub&sub=16  


Men are welcome to attend!


For more anti-war information I recommend:












Lawrence McGuire is the author of The Great American Wagon Road. He lives in France and can be reached at: blmcguire@hotmail.com


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