I am now writing a piece for Truthout.org on the wider ramifications of the Bush Administration's lunatic dumping of a nuclear weapons "cookbook" on the Internet and leaving it posted up for months: a pearl beyond price for any government, militia, terrorist group, religious cult or criminal mafia hoping to wield some of the nuclear terror that has hitherto been the sole province of the world's "most developed" nations.
As we all know, the
reason for this data-dump was purely and solely partisan politics: the Bush
Faction wanted their little bootlickers in the rightwing blogosphere to
cherry-pick the raw data from millions of Saddam-era documents in hopes of
finding something that would goose a couple of news cycles here and there with
stories of "revelations" that "justify" one or more of the
Bush Regime's warmongering lies. They've been disappointed in this propaganda
gambit, however – namely because there can be no data of WMD programs that
didn't exist (or links to al Qaeda that never were). However, there was plenty
of data on the almost-successful nuclear weapons program that Saddam had built
before 1991 – with a mighty assist from a former
All of this is bad
enough; however, late-breaking news in the
Below is a companion piece that I'd written to go with an earlier column for Truthout dealing solely with the Bush dump. The news today has superceded that original article, so I'm rewriting furiously; however, the companion piece – providing some of the long-range background to the situation – is still valid, so I'm putting it up now.
(More after the jump.)
Prelude to a Quagmire
The Bush Party were eager for their acolytes to exhume damning nuggets from the history of Saddam's regime. But even here their idiocy showed itself. For a truly thorough and objective analysis of the rise and rule of the Iraqi roughneck would have indeed unearthed damning revelations –about generations of American leadership that helped create and sustain Saddam's brutal regime. This history gives the lie to everything the Bush Faction has said about Iraq and why we are there – yet it is virtually unknown to the general public and is almost never mentioned by the mainstream media, except in brief flashes, like shooting stars, that appear briefly then disappear into the darkness.
I noted in a Moscow Times piece earlier this year,
historian Roger Morris reminded us – in broad daylight, in the New York
Times, a week before Bush launched his invasion in 2003 – that Saddam's regime
had been helped to power by not one but two coups supported by the CIA. The
first brought the Baathist Party to power in 1963 – after the CIA had helpfully
tried to murder the incumbent strongman, Abdel Kassem, with a poisoned
handkerchief. Kassem, who had been Washington's boy as long as he posed a
counterweight to Egypt's Nasser and his "dangerous" secular
nationalism (oh, for some dangerous secular nationalists in the Middle East
today, eh?), left the reservation when he began "threatening Western oil
interests" and "talking of openly challenging" American
dominance in the Middle East, Morris notes. Operating from bases in
coup was successful; Kassem was tried for "crimes against the Iraqi
people" and executed. The CIA then helpfully provided the successful
Baathists with lists of "suspected communists and leftists." The
Baathists then proceeded to systematically murder hundreds of people on the CIA
lists. American arms were soon flowing to the new "legitimate government
of Iraq" – weapons which, as Morris notes, the Baathists turned against
the Kurds whom the CIA had armed only months before. Meanwhile, "western
corporations like Mobil, Bechtel and British Petroleum were doing business with
was coup number one. Five years later, a Baathist faction led by Saddam
Hussein's kinsman, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, staged a violent uprising against the
government, again with CIA support. Where did Morris get this information?
Straight from the horse's mouth: " Serving on the staff of the National
Security Council under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in the late 1960's, I
often heard C.I.A. officers –
including [Kermit}Roosevelt, grandson of Theodore Roosevelt
and a ranking C.I.A. official for the Near East and Africa at the time – speak openly about their close relations with the Iraqi
Baathists." It is unlikely that the lowly thug and enforcer Saddam Hussein
would have ever been in a position to take power in
I proved a worthy successor to the illustrious Kermit and his Baathist-loving
colleagues. As both vice-president and president, he sustained Saddam in his
harsh rule at every turn – up to the very day that Hussein invaded
But that was not all. Again, from March:
"Bush also used the
global criminal network of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)
to secretly funnel cash and weaponry to Saddam – then intervened to quash
federal investigations of the scam. What was BCCI? Only "one of the
largest criminal enterprises in history," according to the U.S. Senate.
What did BCCI do? "It engaged in pandemic bribery of officials in Europe,
Africa, Asia and the
"The Italian bank BNL was one of BCCI's main tentacles. BNL's Atlanta branch was the primary funnel used to send millions of secret dollars to Saddam for arms purchases, including deadly chemicals and other WMD materials supplied by the Chilean arms dealer Cardoen and various politically-connected operators in the United States like, weapons merchant Matrix Churchill.
"As soon as the BNL case broke, Bush moved to throttle the investigation. He appointed lawyers from both Cardoen and Matrix to top Justice Department posts – where they supervised the officials investigating their old companies. The overall probe was directed by Justice Department investigator Robert Mueller. Meanwhile, White House aides applied heavy pressure on other prosecutors to restrict the range of the probe – especially the fact that Bush cabinet officials Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger had served as consultants for BNL during their pre-White House days as spear-carriers for yet another secretive international front that profits from war, weapons, and the avid greasing of highly-placed palms: Kissinger Associates. The U.S. Senate later found that the probe had been unaccountably "botched" – witnesses went missing, CIA records got "lost," all sorts of bad luck. Most of the big BCCI players went unpunished or got off with wrist-slap fines and sanctions."
"How worried was Bush about the situation? Let's look at the historical record. In the two weeks before the invasion of Kuwait, Bush approved the sale of an additional $4.8 million in "dual-use" technology to factories identified by the CIA as linchpins of Hussein's illicit nuclear and biochemical programs, the Los Angeles Times reports. The day before Saddam sent his tanks across the border, Bush obligingly sold him more than $600 million worth of advanced communications technology. A week later, he was declaring that his long-time ally was "worse than Hitler."
"Yes, the Kuwaitis
had called in their marker. Like a warlord of old, Bush used the
"Then came the
Carthaginian "peace" of the victors –
Now Bush the Son has
surpassed the Father in
Bush II and Cheney took office with the full intent to launch such a war, using the broken regime of Saddam Hussein as the springboard for a morally insane scheme of global dominance by an unchallenged and unchallengeable "unipolar" American empire. Cheney began drawing up these plans while still serving as Defense Secretary in the Bush I administration, and they were carefully refined during the Clinton interregnum by a series of interlocking groups and "think tanks," culminating in the now-infamous "Project for a New American Century," founded by Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush and other power players in the world of militarist extremism.
This group, in public
letters and weighty "policy documents," openly proclaimed the
overwhelming "necessity" of overthrowing Saddam and establishing a
strong "military footprint" in the Middle East, as well as planting
new U.S. bases all over the world – with a special concentration in Central
Asia – embracing the concept of unilateral military action as a cornerstone of
national strategy, and increasing military spending by astronomical amounts.
All of this was planned, laid out, set down and published months – even years –
before the first plane struck the
Every policy that the
Bush-Cheney regime has pursued has grown out of that long pre-existing vision
of domination and empire, a vision that has nothing to do with "protecting
the American people from terrorism." Almost immediately after 9/11, the
Bush Faction began diverting resources and money – often illegally – from the
effort to find Osama bin Laden into the desired war with
In fact, Bush and Blair
got their first taste of war crime blood in May 2002. That was when they
launched a ferocious air war against
"The avowed purpose
of this bombing campaign — openly admitted by
"Not only were they
clearing the path for the coming invasion, but the memos show that the leaders
also hoped to provoke Saddam into retaliating, thereby giving them a PR excuse
for war: “self-defense” against Iraqi “aggression.” But Saddam, this “raging
madman” lusting to destroy
"In fact, Saddam
spent the months of bombardment frantically offering a virtual surrender:
unhindered WMD inspections, free elections under international supervision,
support for any
What Bush and Blair wanted was conquest, not disarmament or Iraqi freedom or a damping down of terrorism in the world. They wanted the power and status given to "war leaders" – as George II himself confirmed to a Bush family biographer, Mickey Herskowitz, in 1999. Herskowitz, whose work was too considered too truthful to be used as a propaganda piece in the 2000 campaign – but who has nonetheless remained close to Bush Senior – said Bush was lusting for war long before taking office, as Guerilla News Network reported in 2004:
Thus, by his own admission, Bush regards war — slaughter, ruin, chaos and terror — as the measure of success, the path to greatness. He sees blood as the prime lubricant for his rapacious domestic policies. He uses unprovoked military aggression to achieve his personal and political goals.
This personal psychopathology dovetailed with calculating geopolitical ambitions of Dick Cheney. From the GNN story:
"Bush's circle of pre-election advisers had a fixation on the political capital that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher collected from the Falklands War. Said Herskowitz: 'They were just absolutely blown away, just enthralled by the scenes of the troops coming back, of the boats, people throwing flowers at [Thatcher] and her getting these standing ovations in Parliament and making these magnificent speeches.'"
Every action that the Bush Faction has taken in regard to Iraq, and to its so-called "War on Terror," has grown out of these plans, schemes and psychological needs that manifested themselves long before 9/11. And every such action has actually increased the danger and virulence of terrorism in the world – not least the state terror that Bush and Cheney have visited upon Iraq, on a scale far surpassing the wildest dreams of bin Laden and his ilk.
None of it, not a single bit of it, has anything whatsoever to do with the security of the American people. It has only to do with the aggrandizement of George Walker Bush, Richard Bruce Cheney, and their courtiers, their corporate cronies, and their fellow feasters on the bodies of the dead.
piece originally referred to "Archibald Roosevelt, grandson of Teddy
Roosevelt." This was in fact a perpetuation of a mistake in the
original article by Roger Morris; it should be "Kermit Roosevelt," who
was the TR grandson with a lifelong involvement with the CIA. Apologies
for the error, which was spotted by an astute reader over at
LewRockwell.com. It has now been corrected.*