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(DV) Petersen: The Analytical Skewer







The Analytical Skewer 
by Kim Petersen
May 10, 2006

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On May 4, former CIA veteran Ray McGovern attended a public gathering at the Southern Center of International Studies in Atlanta where Secretary of Defense [sic] Donald Rumsfeld was speaking. McGovern, during an open question-answer session, skewered the hapless neocon with his own disinforming words around the invasion of Iraq. [1] If only the rest of the administration officials were available for genuine probing, especially by authentic journalists, who are not a part of the recalcitrant corporate media.

On the same day in Washington, President George W. Bush addressed the American Jewish Congress on its 100th anniversary. The entire speech was riddled with propaganda and disinformation. A few selected blurbs from Bush’s speech evinces the ease with which an authentic journalist might cut through the nonsense.

Of Saddam Hussein, Bush said, “He had invaded a neighbor, he had used weapons of mass destruction against his own people, he had the capability of making weapons of mass destruction [WMD], he harbored terrorists, he was shooting at U.S. aircraft. He was a threat, and the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.”

The evening’s hosts might be somewhat embarrassed by the president’s comments. Yes, Iraq under Hussein invaded Iran (at the coaxing of the US), and after that Iraq invaded Kuwait (upon receiving a “green light” from US ambassador April Glaspie). The Zionist state Israel never existed before 1948, so it had no neighbor to invade. First it had to invade the homeland of another people and steal that land. Since the initial invasion and occupation, the Zionist state has invaded Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

Yes, Iraq used chemicals (developed with US and western assistance), and the state of Israel has used chemicals also. [2]

Then Bush proffers an alarming rationale, “he had the capability of making weapons of mass destruction.” No longer is it the possession of such weapons, but the mere “capability” warrants criticism. So while the aggressive usurper state of Israel possesses all kinds of WMD, other aggressed states are denied even the “capability” to produce WMD.

Bush claims that Hussein “harbored terrorists.” Ignoring the terrorists harbored in the US’ own backyard, it must be noted that the Israeli state is built and maintained by terrorism. The assassination of Palestinian leaders and the firing of missiles into civilian neighborhoods adduces that Israel is a terrorist state.

Yes, Iraq’s air defenses were “shooting at U.S. aircraft”; i.e., they were defending Iraqi airspace from hostile foreign fighter aircrafts. Why does Bush not mention the savage 1967 Israeli military attack on the intelligence-gathering ship the USS Liberty while it was situated in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea? Thirty-four crewmen were killed. Or how about the foiled Lavon Affair where Israeli operatives planned to blow up a US diplomatic post in Egypt in 1954? One wonders which state, therefore, has been the greater “threat” to the US?

But Bush identifies an emerging common “threat” to the state of Israel and the US: “The AJC, the American government, and most of the nations of the world are concerned about Iran. We’re concerned because the Iranian regime is repressing its people, sponsoring terrorists, destabilizing the region, threatening Israel, and defying the world with its ambitions for nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.”

Why does the US government express concern about the repression of Iranians and yet it does not express the same concern for Palestinians? Why was the US government unconcerned about the brutal repression of Iranians by the US-installed and backed regime of the Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi? Why was it presumably okay for the US to sponsor and incite terrorism to overthrow the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh? Definitionally, was such an action not destabilizing?

Further, if Iran’s alleged development of a capability to produce nuclear weapons is a threat to Israel, then what does the Israeli regime’s substantial nuclear arsenal represent to Iran? Why does the US not rally the world to disarm the Israeli state?

Says Bush, “America respects and admires the people of Iran. We respect their history and culture. We respect their right to choose their own future and win their own freedom. And America looks forward to the day when our nation can be closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.”

Iranians might cringe at what American respect for freedom, history, and culture of a people entails considering what such lofty ideals meant to US forces in next-door Iraq. As mentioned, when American operative Kermit Roosevelt helped to engineer the overthrow of Iranian prime minister Mossadegh, what did that imply about the US’ respect for others to choose their own future? What does the US’ attempts to shut off any cash flow to the elected Hamas government in Palestine signify? Respect for the right of Palestinians to choose their own future?

As a final piece of analysis, it is important that the world does not turn a blind eye to the wanton destruction of a segment of humanity. Genocide is a monstrous crime, and morality dictates that standing by is not an option. Bush contends, “America is not silent. The United States is the only country to have called the crimes taking place in Sudan what they are: genocide. To end these atrocities, we've developed a clear standard. First, there must be a political course.”

What kind of “clear standard” is it when genocide can be a pick-and-choose affair? If there is a genocide in Sudan, where the fatality figures range from 60,000 to 400,000 [3], out of a population of 41.2 million, and this is compared to Iraq, where since 1991, approximately 1.5 million Iraqi civilians have perished out of a population of 26.8 million [4], then proportionally the number of fatalities is far greater in Iraq and Bush has by dint of statistical inference implicated the US government as involved in a genocide. Meanwhile the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has claimed 4 million lives. Why then has the US government failed to declare a genocide in the DRC? Where and what is the “clear standard”?

Why is it that the corporate media with all its great resources cannot or does not ask the simple questions? It is but a simple task to analytically skewer the flailing war criminals of the US regime.

Kim Petersen, Co-Editor of Dissident Voice, lives in the traditional Mi'kmaq homeland colonially designated Nova Scotia, Canada. He can be reached at: kim@dissidentvoice.org.


[1] Ray McGovern, “My Meeting With Rumsfeld,” Uruknet, 8 May 2006.

[2] James Brooks, “Israel’s Chemical Weapons,” antiwar.com, 8 July 2004. 

[3] Marc Lacey, “Tallying Darfur terror: Guesswork with a cause,” New York Times, 11 May 2005.

[4] 2006 population figures from CIA Factbook. Beth Daponte, a demographer in the Commerce Department, estimated 205,500 fatalities in from 1991 phase of the War on Iraq. What about the military fatalities? Newsmaker Q&A, “Toting the Casualties of War,” Business Week online, 6 February 2003. UNICEF found an increase of approximately 90,000 child deaths a year; when this is multiplied over the 12-year period of sanctions, the result is 1.08 million deaths. UNICEF/Iraq, “Situation Analysis of Children and Women in Iraq,”1997, p 42. The Lancet study found about 100,000 Iraqi civilians to have been killed following the invasion in 2003. Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, Gilbert Burnham, “Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey, The Lancet, 29 October 2004. This fatality figure from has since been upped to 200,000 by one of The Lancet report authors. Les Roberts, “Do Iraqi Civilian Casualties Matter?AlterNet, 8 February 2006. In addition, it is maintained that Iraqi military who died in defense of their country also matter? See Kim Petersen, “Rubber Numbers and the Sanctity of Human Life: The Expendability of Them to Attain Our Political Ends,” Dissident Voice, 8 March 2004.

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