The Dogs of War

With a secret plan developed in September 2000 to attack Iraq, President George W. Bush is unleashing the dogs of war and once again plunging American troops through the gates of hell.

The secret war plan (“Rebuilding America’s Defenses”) calls for attacking Iraq (“Bush Planned Iraq ‘Regime Change’ Before Becoming President,” Scotland’s The Sunday Herald, September 15, 2002). This bloody blueprint, penned by the ultra-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century, was given to Bush and top Republicans two years ago.

In 1990, during Desert Storm, U.S. soldiers were provided only official misinformation. Upon returning home, I realized “the fix was in” back then, too. Former President Bush lied about Iraqi intentions and capabilities to invade Saudi Arabia. And a multi-million dollar public relations campaign lied to Americans about Iraqi soldiers tossing Kuwaiti babies from incubators. Many in Congress relied on these lies when they voted in favor of going to war in January 1991. A few changed votes could have changed history.

But let’s not allow a few pesky facts to get in the way.

So, why does a second war appear inevitable? The U.N. vote appears fixed. Russia may remain neutral on a new U.N Security Council resolution calling for the use of force to make Iraq comply with existing disarmament resolutions. Russia wants a free hand to use the military against rebels in Chechnya as well as Chechnya rebels operating in Georgia.

China may remain neutral because China wants to remain a World Trade Organization trading partner with the U.S. China also wants a free hand to fight Muslim rebels in far western China. A vaguely worded U.N. resolution will pass allowing Bush to attack. Sadly, Bush may even invade Iraq regardless what the U.N. does.

The fix appears in with Congress, too. Congress will pass, and Bush will sign, a vaguely worded law authorizing the use of force against Iraq. Common sense won’t prevail because Bush is pressuring Congress to act in a frenzy, without knowing all the facts about September 11 intelligence failures or about the Administrations long-term plans for Iraq.

Today, without approval from Congress Bush is deploying troops off the shore of Yemen, and is speeding up the pace of landing troops in the Persian Gulf region. Portions of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division already flew to Kuwait. Shiploads of tanks are arriving now. Thus, on a hair-trigger notice, Bush can attack Iraq or any nation in Southwest Asia immediately with 30,000 troops and 400 planes (“U.S. Builds Up Huge Attack Force,” The Guardian, September 13, 2002).

Former President Bush used the same tactic in 1990: first deploy the troops, then ask for permission. Several in Congress voted for war on the grounds it would be a “loss of face” for the U.S. to deploy troops and then not use them. Will a courageous Senator filibuster Bush’s folly?

Based on the lies of the past, Bush may be lying now. The bottom line is that American citizens and reporters may never know. We won’t have an opportunity to see and review the facts before Bush attacks Iraq, and reporters may be blocked from the front lines again by military censors. The press accepts many of these unconstitutional restrictions n part because some large media conglomerates are also defense contracting firms set to win enormous war contracts (General Electric, a major defense contractor, owns NBC and MSNBC).

With little public debate, America plunges into hell, as U.S. General William T. Sherman described his burning march through Georgia during the Civil War.

Now, with great historical irony, Georgia’s Senator Zell Miller, a moderate Democrat supporting another Gulf War, faces a quandary. Miller wrote, “Forgive my bluntness, but these folks [his constituents in Georgia] also want to hear the president and the vice president say that this war is not about oil” (“Questions for the Commander in Chief,” The Washington Post, September 8, 2002).

The war has nothing to do with national defense, terrorism, or weapons of mass destruction. The war has everything to do with trillions of dollars in oil supplies. The “U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq” (“In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue: U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum Pool,” Washington Post, September 15, 2002).

If the war is not an immediate success, Miller and other moderates skate on thin ice by supporting a Republican president with questionable legitimacy from the 2000 election abusing his power to launch America’s first-ever attack against a sovereign nation.

This time, the expected urban warfare may result in tremendously high U.S. casualties. The result may be an American Stalingrad – overconfident U.S. troops on a long supply line in an enemy city losing badly. Miller may face strong opposition from voters when body bags come home to Georgia’s Fort Stewart, Fort Gordon, and Fort Benning via Dover Air Force Base in Maryland.

America should worry when the fix is in and death seems poised to win. The stomachs of Gulf War veterans churn recalling the senseless over-kill and carnage along “Highway of Death” in 1991. This was the infamous roadway from Kuwait to Iraq where thousands of retreating, defeated Iraqi soldiers were killed, shot like helpless fish in a barrel by U.S. attack helicopters, planes, and tanks.

Bush is cynically using the anguish, fear, and patriotism resulting from 9-11 to advance his partisan political goals, not the interests of Americans. To date, Bush hasn’t sought a peaceful solution. He is failing as our leader at home, as he avoids all questions about our economy, environment, education, social security privatization, corporate scandals (including Harken and Halliburton) and domestic issues.

Unless the $200 billion Bush-Cheney juggernaut racing toward hell isn’t stopped now, hang on to a copy of our tattered U.S. Constitution, pray if you need to for the impotent Congress and the voiceless and uninformed people, and hug your family and friends tight: there will be killing and death caused by Bush’s dogs of war.

Anonymous is a Gulf War veteran.

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