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(DV) Petersen: The War of Terror and the US "National Interest"





The War of Terror and the US “National Interest”
by Kim Petersen
March 28, 2007

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Why is it that US politicians feel compelled to appear before a small, delimited section of the United States and pronounce unwavering support for Israel -- which is de facto support for ethnic cleansing and slow motion genocide? Why is it the administration of a superpower feels forced to address this small segment of the US population? Is this in the US “national interest”?

US vice president Dick Cheney, a major figure in the drive to invade and occupy Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, claims that it is in the interest of US security. He shirks responsibility for the massive devastation wreaked by the occupiers in Iraq and denounces critics of the destruction for exercising 20/20 hindsight. But many progressive commentators were opposed prior to the invasion-occupation of Iraq. They had attacked the nugatory evidence for Iraq’s possession of outlawed weapons-of-mass-destruction (WMD) as propagandistic.

While eschewing hindsight, Cheney has the audacity to claim foresight. This past 24 March, Cheney spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership in Florida. He said, “But the biggest mistake of all can be seen in advance: A sudden withdrawal of our coalition [in Iraq] would dissipate much of the effort that has gone into fighting the global war on terror, and result in chaos and mounting danger.”

Cheney declaimed, “We must consider . . . just what a precipitous withdrawal would mean to our other efforts in the war on terror, to our interests in the broader Middle East, and to Israel.”

Let’s consider this. First, besides exposing the fraudulent casus belli of possessing WMD, the aggression of Iraq adduced that it was no threat by quickly toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein. The aggression has given rise to a vigorous resistance that has dented the notion of an invincible US military. Second, as Cheney noted, it was not US interests in Israel, but US interests to Israel! Why does the US vice president genuflect to Jewish-Israeli interests? Certainly Palestinian-Israeli interests are not considered. 
Twice this month in the build-up to an attack on Iran, Cheney has spoken publicly to Jewish groups but not publicly to Arab or Muslim groups. But that is not surprising, as the enemy is identified as being among Arabs and Muslims, and there is no talking to that “enemy.” Cheney stated, “An enemy with fantasies of martyrdom is not going to sit down at a table for negotiations. . . . The only option for our security and survival is to go on the offensive -- facing the threat directly, patiently, and systematically, until the enemy is destroyed.”

The Bush-Cheney regime’s focus is on violence. “The first priority is to remember that we are a nation at war . . .” So in Iraq, there is a push for a troop build-up, and in Afghanistan the US and NATO forces prepare for further violence.

Cheney undermined his raison d’être for the invasion-occupation of Iraq when he stated the mission’s focus is based on the “attacks of September 11th, 2001, and the loss that morning of nearly 3,000 innocent people here in the United States.” Iraq’s involvement in those attacks has never been demonstrated. None of the 9-11 suspects were Iraqi. No connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda has been demonstrated. Yet, Cheney asserted ex cathedra that Iraq’s non-involvement is a myth.

Cheney concluded, “If you support the war on terror, then it only makes sense to support it where the terrorists are fighting us.”

It is easy to demonize the “enemy” with language, but what is clear is that the killing of one million Iraqis is a genocidal campaign. Americans and citizens of the world do have a choice: support US terrorism and the continued destruction of the cradle of civilization or stand for peace.

Kim Petersen, Co-Editor of Dissident Voice, can be reached at: