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Wars of naked aggression not ‘choice’

Aug 04,2020 - Last updated at Aug 04,2020

"To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq" is a new Robert Draper book exposing the blatant deception of the world leaders who invaded Iraq in 2003 on the purely fabricated pretext of weapons of mass destruction.

It adds to mounting revelations of how President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair worked to justify the invasion and to build a coalition of other states to wage that destructive war.

These leaders were not deceived by their intelligence communities. They were not presented with wrong data. On the contrary, they were disturbed by any reports suggesting that Iraq did not possess WMDs, after the UN inspectors had cleared the country of any such weapons during the 12 years following the Iraq war of 1991.

Leaders in Washington and London demanded doctored intelligence confirming the existence of weapons in order to justify a decision that had already been taken to invade Iraq.

In February 2018, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who was Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff during run up to the 2003 invasion, wrote a damning article titled: "I helped sell the choice of war once: It is happening again."

He explained the fabrications and distortions that were deliberately made to sell the war. He also warned against similar adventures by the current administration. Another article appeared last month on from former CIA analyst Ray McGovern: "Powell and Iraq: the Uses and Abuses of National Intelligence Estimates".

McGovern recalls that scandalous war of aggression, not of "choice", that plunged the region into endless political turmoil in addition to massive life loss, destruction and chaos.

If some details of the Iraq war conspiracy and the fabrication of evidence may be new, the conspiracy itself was known right from the beginning.

Powell's notorious Security Council presentation of February 5, 2003 was hardly convincing. He was warned, and he already knew that what he was compelled to say was false, according to Wilkerson. He did hesitate, and there was talk of him resigning, but Powell finally put his position as secretary of state before any principle.

Tony Blair's contribution to the fake evidence was even more laughable: the Blair Dossier which was described by Powell at the Security Council as "a fine paper" which "describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities", was in fact a years-old term paper turned into an article in the Middle East Review of International Affairs, by Ibrahim Al Marashi, an Iraqi-American researcher.

Out of the 19 pages in the 12-year-old dossier, 10 were plagiarised word for word, including grammatical and typographical errors, Cambridge University lecturer Glen Rangwala told Channel 4.

He said: "Large chunks of the Marashi's paper had been copied to form parts of the UK dossier, entitled: Iraq, its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation."

The governments of Iraq and Syria were on the target list of the neocons who enjoyed exceptional influence during the George W. Bush administration, along with Iran and Hizbollah.

This vision was specifically tailored to fit Israel's demands, along the lines set out in a 1996 report prepared by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, called "A Clean Break".

Mainly the aim of the report was to assure Israel's security and territorial expansion by clearing the region from any forces that could resist.

It was also laid out since the 1990s in such books as David Wurmser's "Tyranny's Ally: America's failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein".

The neocon pressure to go to war against Iraq, and to move from Iraq to the other targets, was already there. But the 9/11 attacks offered an opportunity that was instantly seized by Washington.

The decision to attack Iraq was taken less than two months after 9/11. Justifying evidence had to be invented regardless of reality.

As in the fable, the hungry wolf spotted a poor lamb drinking at the spring. He could not resist the temptation. "You spoiled the water for me you nasty little lamb," the wolf said. "But I am at the bottom of the stream sir, and the water runs from you to me. How could I have spoiled it?" the lamb replied."

"I don't care where you are I will have to punish you and eat you," the wolf said.

This is the quality of world leaders deeply rooted democracies are still producing. Instead of dedicating their missions to preserve world peace and security by supporting the UN system, they act like gangsters, work in the dark to promote violence, aggression, injustice, misery and chaos, all at a very high cost for their countries and people.

But it is not the leaders who pay the price: Both Bush and Blair, not to mention Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and many others, have gone on to comfortable and wealthy retirements. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has not pursued them, instead, so far, it has only gone after leaders from poor African states.

It remains to be seen if the ICC will have the courage to finally, at least, hold Israeli leaders accountable for their crimes.

These reckless powers have disabled the UN, turning it into a tool for licensing wars and obstructing justice. Yet, instead of learning any lesson, the leaders in the West continue to proclaim themselves the sole authorities in the world, and are now seeking new confrontations from South America to Iran to China.

That is the last thing the world needs, especially during a pandemic.

Only chance can save us from new disasters.

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