Iraq facing Harsh Trends in the New International Order

Iraq facing Harsh Trends in the New International Order
Prepared By: Professor Michel G. Nehme
Dean of PSPAD, Notre Dame University

Writing at this point in time, amidst the very critical sequence of events unfolding by the day, one could analyze for relevance and not for prediction about the American-Iraqi crises. The top administration officials say a military showdown with Iraq could be triggered as soon as Dec. 8, the deadline in a tough United Nations Security Council resolution for Saddam Hussein to account for any weapons of mass destruction.
"We're not going to wait until February to see whether Iraq is cooperating or not," Secretary of State Colin Powell said on CNN's Late Edition.
Close observers to the USA - Iraqi crisis assert that president Bush already has settled on a war plan that calls for bombing strikes and a ground invasion by as many as 250,000 U.S. and allied forces if the inspections process falters, this observation is supported by USA administration sources. In recent weeks, some National Guard and Reserve units have been alerted that they could be called up. The United States seems poised for war, the final piece put in place by a 15-0 vote Friday by the Security Council. Resolution 1441 - which finds Iraq in violation of its commitment to disarm and lays out a timetable for new inspections; even drew unexpected support from Iraq's neighbor Syria (Syria has its own legitimate justifications for doing that).

It was a striking turnaround for Bush. Just two months ago, critics were calling his advisers divided and his administration isolated from world opinion. Now he is in a commanding position to order the use of force against Iraq, having won overwhelming votes in the Security Council and in Congress.
Iraq, despite the negative vote by its parliament, has pledged to comply with the Security Council resolution. By Dec. 8, it must declare any prohibited weapons or the facilities to produce them. U.N. weapons inspectors must resume their work by Dec. 23, reporting back to the Security Council by Feb. 21, 2003. But Saddam could be found in "material breach" of the U.N. resolution before then, U.S. officials say, if he fails to disclose banned weapons or weapons sites. USA officials already have prepared their own list of suspected sites, using reports from previous inspections and information from intelligence sources and Iraqi defectors.
If Iraq omits sites, that could be the provocation for an attack, U.S. officials say. The United States has agreed to additional consultations with the Security Council but says a vote on using force wouldn't be required. "The U.N. can meet and discuss, but we don't need their permission," White House chief of staff Andy Card said on NBC's Meet the Press. As stated earlier events are unfolding by the day and one needs to put all of the intentions and what is being said in academic perspective.
It is taken for granted that wars begin with war plans. Behind all war plans are war aims. Normally, the simpler the war aim, the greater the likelihood of success. The United States has quite complex war aims compared to Iraq. This is due partly to the complexity of the mission and partly to the degree of confidence the American military has in itself. Paradoxically, the same operations that are the basis for U.S. confidence also are fueling an Iraqi sense of confidence. Clausewitz teaches that the best war plans are the ones with the simplest goals: In situations where there are complex goals, the best plans are those which can identify a single center of gravity, where success can be leveraged to achieve more complex war aims without the diffusion of forces and effort. The more war aims you have, the more difficult they are to achieve and the more likely they are to be contradictory and self-defeating.

Therefore, the main goal is always to reduce the number of war aims to only the essential. Once this is achieved, a single enabling point --a center of gravity-- must be identified that, if won or destroyed, will yield all other benefits. The problem with American war aims in Iraq is that they are numerous, and they are complex. Six distinct aims can be identified already:
1. Replace Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's regime with one compatible with American interests.
2.  Maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq so that it remains a counterweight to Iran, and so that nationalist ambitions by ethnic Kurds in northern Iraq do not disrupt U.S.-Turkish relations.
3. Eliminate the threat of weapons of mass destruction by having total direct access to all of Iraq.
4. Change the perception of American effectiveness in the Islamic world.
5. Destroy collaboration between Iraq and al Qaeda (I say this on the assumption that the U.S reports on this matter are verified).
6. Minimize U.S. casualties.
Aims 1, 2 and 6 stand in tremendous tension with one another. Replacing Saddam Hussein's regime inevitably will threaten the territorial integrity of Iraq, unless the United States directly commits massive forces. That risks rising casualties. But without ensuring territorial integrity, aims 3, 4 and 5 will be imperiled. This is the war-planning problem the United States must solve.
The complexity of Washington's aims contrasts dramatically with Iraq's single goal: regime survival. For Saddam Hussein, the mere survival of his regime will constitute a victory. For the United States, simply destroying his regime does not guarantee success.
For Washington to achieve all of its goals, it needs not so much the destruction of the Iraqi armed forces as the destruction of the senior leadership of the Hussein regime, and its rapid replacement by an authority capable of both maintaining control of Iraq's territory and securing its weapons of mass destruction (WMD).Therefore, the U.S. strategy must have two key elements: The first is the rapid isolation and destruction of Iraq's national command authority. The second is the rapid generation of a credible replacement.
If the first goal is achieved without the second, then territorial integrity cannot be guaranteed, complete intelligence about and control of Iraqi WMD cannot be assured, al Qaeda's presence in Iraq cannot be eliminated and the perception of U.S. effectiveness in the Islamic world may not be enhanced. Any outcome in which regime destruction is not rapidly effected endangers the U.S. mission, as does any outcome in which regime destruction does not set the stage for rapid achievement of the other goals. Therefore, U.S. aims must be built on the confidence that the Iraqi national command authority can be rapidly eliminated, that an able command authority can replace it and that the Iraqi armed forces will not resist effectively.
For its part, Iraq's war plans must be built upon two pillars: First, Iraq must assure that the regime can survive the initial assault. Second, as a deterrent, it must create conditions that reduce the likelihood that any of the other U.S. goals can be achieved if Washington does destroy the regime.

All war plans are built on a core foundation: the perception of one's own capabilities and those of the enemy. In this case, it is vital to understand that both combatants will approach the war with fairly high estimates of their own capabilities. What makes this fascinating is that Washington and Baghdad achieve their perceptions through a reading of the same facts:
In recent years the United States has gained experience and confidence in power projection. In Panama, Kuwait, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, the United States has been able to impose its will in extremely short time frames and with minimal casualties. With the exception of Somalia, which was driven by political rather than military considerations, the U.S. military has used its advanced technology, combined with small numbers of Special Operations troops supported by infantry for holding ground, to impose satisfactory low-cost solutions. The United States perceives Iraq as inherently unstable, with outmoded armed forces, and therefore ripe for a devastating attack.
Saddam Hussein as the ultimate decision maker of Iraq has experienced defeat by the United States before and has survived. The Iraqis know that the U.S. military will open with devastating air attacks, but they think that they can survive those attacks and that the United States will decline a high-intensity conflict on the ground. From Iraq's point of view, the United States has failed consistently to achieve its political goals because it has been unwilling and unable to follow initial successes with sufficient ground forces.
With the exceptions of Panama and Haiti, both in the Western Hemisphere, the United States has consistently failed to bring conflicts to definitive conclusions. In Iraq, the U.S. military seized a significant but peripheral region -- Kuwait -- while refusing to attack Iraq proper. In Afghanistan, the United States took control of the cities but refused to commit sufficient forces to impose a solution on the countryside. Where it has forces present, such as in Kosovo, it operates in a coalition that prevents effective imposition of power. The United States has a great opening game, but it has no follow-through. Therefore, the Iraqi view is that if they can survive the initial attack, the advantage will shift to them.
The same events cause the Americans and Iraqis to come to completely different conclusions. What is for the United States a model of effective military operations is from the Iraqi perspective a consistent record of unwillingness to bear the costs of follow-on operations. Obviously, these are some of the reasons why wars occur: If the United States didn't think it could take Iraq, it wouldn't try. If Hussein didn't think he could survive an attack, he would be looking for an exit strategy and to be fare to the argument Saddam Hussein is playing on both options. Each side thinks it can win. This fact conditions the framework of this possible war. Each side also has a core operational problem that cuts directly to the heart of its war-making system. In this mode of thinking it is useful to state the following:
Iraq has a substantial armored and mechanized force. It expects to lose its ability to communicate with its dispersed forces very early in the war. The logical solution is to delegate command and control authority to lower echelons. As the Americans destroy communications, regional commanders must be granted the authority to give orders to their forces without recourse to higher command.
This military requirement flies in the face of Iraq's political system. Hussein's power is built on direct control of the armed forces and on minimizing the freedom of his regional commanders to maneuver. The U.S. military will take advantage of this. If regional commanders are left free to operate, Washington will attempt to reach political accommodations with commanders. This will neutralize their threat while retaining their power to support a new regime. If, on the other hand, Hussein refuses to devolve command, the armed forces will be paralyzed and destroyed. Hussein must solve this problem. He must devolve power while guaranteeing that his forces will use that authority to resist the United States.
A terrific argument is taking place within the U.S. Defense establishment, one that has been misinterpreted by the media as an argument between "hawks and doves." On the one side are those in the Air Force and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who argue that U.S. war aims can be achieved by using precision air strikes and Special Operations teams. On the other side is the U.S. Army, which argues that an attack on Iraq will require the commitment of multiple armored and mechanized divisions that alone can exploit the opportunities created by the Air Force.

Two completely different models of war fighting are thus competing for supremacy. The Air Force/JSOC argument looks at a triumphant history of air warfare over the past 15 years or so. The Army, not dissimilar to Hussein's perception, takes a much more jaundiced view of these achievements. Those in the Army argue, for example, that the Air Force was much less effective in Kosovo than it claims and that only a heavy presence in Iraq can guarantee the broader war aims
The United States must craft a strategy that chooses between the two sides. The tradition is that a compromise will be found, but this potentially could create a situation in which insufficient air power is used along with insufficient ground forces.
The American war-planning dilemma is how to leverage its superb advantage in incapacitating Iraqi command and control systems into a strategy that achieves the enabler for all other war aims: control over an integrated, pacified Iraq without a war of attrition.
The Iraqi war-planning dilemma is how to devolve command to lower echelons without allowing the Americans an opening for piecemeal negotiations that could lead to Iraqi capitulation.
The American problem is this: If the expectation that regional commanders will capitulate is not realized, then the U.S. military will have a daunting follow-on task. Hussein is counting on three things:
 1. His ability to confuse American intelligence will allow him and his senior commanders to survive the first assault.
 2. The devolution of command will not lead to the capitulation of all regional forces and that some major attritional battles will be fought.
 3. He will retain control over Baghdad through low-tech communications solutions, and that regardless of what happens in the countryside, the U.S. military will neither directly assault Baghdad nor will it be able, for political reasons, to impose an extended siege.

The United States must so disrupt Iraq's command and control system early in the campaign that Saddam Hussein or his successor will be incapable of any coherent resistance, but a disruption of this magnitude could result in such demoralization that mass capitulation takes place. The Iraqis must survive the first phase of the attack with sufficient capabilities in place to mount a defense of Baghdad and additional cities and regions, forcing the United States into an extended campaign that strains its coalition to the breaking point, places tremendous stress on logistics and manpower and, finally, creates a crisis of confidence in Washington.
To put it simply, the United States is counting on a collapse of the regime in a sequence that permits Washington to avoid uncontrollable chaos. Iraq is counting on the failure of the United States to completely destroy its resistance and is expecting that the United States will repeat its history of ineffective endgames.
In this chess game, the United States appears to have the first move. Washington is counting on the opening moves and the endgame to coincide. Hussein is counting on surviving the opening moves long enough to create a separate and distinct endgame.
If we are to look at this war game from another perspective, and that what strategists usually do in any analysis for prospective wars, then, Washington has four basic strategic options that could stand alone or be melded into a combined strategy:
1. Operation Desert Stun: a sudden, overwhelming attack on the center using air power and Special Forces designed to force a rapid conclusion to the war.
2. Operation Desert Slice: a sequential attack on the various regions of Iraq designed to segment and stabilize the countryside, isolating Hussein in Baghdad.
3. Operation Desert Storm II: an extended air campaign designed to cripple Iraq militarily and economically.
4. Operation Desert Thunder: a multi-divisional armored and mechanized attack on Baghdad.
If one thinks of these less as distinct operations than as potential components of a single plan, then the American strategy and Iraq's potential counter operations will unfold.
At this writing, the Bush administration has succeeded in getting the U.S. congress to cede war-making power to the presidency. I use this phrasing carefully i.e. the push to attack Iraq has for the first time explicitly abrogated the Constitution: "Congress shall have the power ... to declare war" (Article I., Sec. 8, Clause. 11). In his brief speech to the Senate, Senator Robert Byrd expressed the same concern. Byrd, reported receiving nearly 20,000 phone calls and 50,000 emails supporting his position. Other legislators reported similar outpouring of resistance. In many states - and specifically in New York City- protestors "sat-in" in legislator's offices to protest the decision to grant the President power to make war.([1]) Despite grassroots opposition unseen since Vietnam,([2]) on October 10th and 11th, 2002, the House and the Senate, respectively, passed H.J. Res. 114 and S.J. Res. 46. The House vote was 293-133. The Senate vote was 77-23. Passage of the joint resolution that would authorize President Bush to use the U.S. military as he deems necessary and appropriate to defend U.S. national security against Iraq and enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. The president would be required to report to Congress, no later than 48 hours after using force, his determination that diplomacy or other peaceful means would not ensure U.S. national security against Iraq or allow enforcement of U.N. resolutions and that using force is consistent with anti-terrorism efforts. The resolution also states that it would give specific statutory authorization under the War Powers Resolution. The president also would be required to report to Congress every 60 days on actions relevant to the resolution.([3]) The president can now use force at his own discretion if he perceives Iraq to be in breach of UN Resolutions, or a threat to the security of the US.

In his effort to convince the congress and the American public, the president delivered a speech on October 7, 2002 in Cincinnati to summarize the nature of the Iraq threat.([4]) Even the supporters of the invasion admitted there was little new in this speech. Everyone agrees that Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator. Beyond that, the present and "unique threat" of Iraq was presented by suppositions and scenarios without facts or evidence,([5]) despite the administration's intense pressure on intelligence agencies to "cook the intelligence books"([6]) and come up with something concrete about Iraq. In fact, USA intelligence agencies have disputed or refuted many elements of that speech.([7]) A study of those critiques gives one the impression that the administration has been presenting a modern-day "Gulf of Ton kin incident"([8]) to the American public to justify its planned invasion of Iraq.
President George Bush addressed the UN on September 12, 2002, reciting the history of Iraq's wrongs and violations of United Nations Security Council [UNSC] resolutions. He warned "We cannot stand by and do nothing while dangers gather," and challenged the UN to "serve the purpose of its founding."([9])

Days later, Iraq, with the prompting of members of the Arab League and others, agreed to allow weapons inspectors to return to Iraq "without conditions."([10]) After negotiations with Iraq, Hans Blix, head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission [UNMOVIC] announced that, under the new inspections regime, UNMOVIC and the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] "may conduct interviews with any person in Iraq whom they believe may have information relevant to their mandate. Iraq will facilitate such interviews." More importantly, "It is for UNMOVIC and the IAEA to choose the mode and location (emphasis added) for interviews." This allows people to be interviewed outside Iraq, and away from possible retaliatory threats from Iraq. Further, inspectors will be granted immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to sites deemed sensitive in the past, including eight presidential palaces.
1. UN officials have the right to determine the number of inspectors required for access to any site.
2. "Iraq will ensure that no proscribed material, equipment, records or other relevant items will be destroyed except in the presence of ... inspectors."
3. Iraqi authorities will provide free escorts, transport, assistance with moving equipment, and a full-time telephone hotline staffed by an English speaker, along with security for inspectors and their equipment.
4. Iraq will guarantee the safety of all air operations outside the no-fly zones and "will take all steps within its control to ensure the safety of such operations" within the zones.
5. Inspectors will be guaranteed visas on the basis of a UN certificate and neither they nor their baggage will be searched([11])


The USA government's initial response to Iraq's re-admittance of inspectors was dismissive. Even with the above "immediate, unrestricted, unfettered" access, the USA has tried to put obstacles preventing the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq. The USA is presently putting intense pressure on the permanent members of the UNSC (as it did before the Gulf War([12])) for a new resolution. This pressure takes different forms for different countries. For example, France (and other European countries) would agree in exchange for access to the conquered Iraqi oil fields.([13]) Russia would want a guarantee that it would receive the $7-8 billion still owed to it by Saddam Hussein's government, and for the USA to look the other way while it pursues its attacks on Chechnya. China would want a free hand to pursue the "Islamic rebels" threatening its totalitarian power within its own borders.([14])

What is the USA seeking with its new resolution? Under the present UNSC resolutions, Iraq's disarmament would lead to a lifting of the brutal sanctions against Iraq. Under the new resolution intended by the US, weapons inspections would lead to, or themselves be, a military invasion of Iraq. That is, if the weapons inspections "fail," then the USA would want a free hand to invade Iraq to remove them. In addition, the draft of the new US-proposed UNSC resolution would allow foreign and of course USA troops into Iraq to enforce air and ground keep-out "corridors" to and from any place the inspectors might wish to go. This provision would achieve invasion by inspection.
Despite its pressure, it now appears as though the United States will not get the kind of UNSC Resolution it wants, since China, Russia and France have come out against the USA proposal for the use of force. Some new UNSC resolution may well be passed, but it will not, except perhaps in the eyes of the USA,([15]) allow the USA to invade Iraq to enforce it. In the meantime Americans are left to ponder the irony that a nation so concerned with weapons of mass destruction [WMD] is prohibiting weapons inspections, the most effective means for eliminating WMD.
As the United States rushes toward invasion of Iraq, the world need more than ever to understand the motivations and probable outcomes of such an action. This essay does not address the elements of the two administration's efforts (in the legislature, and at the UN) toward invasion point by point. Instead, I want to provide a broader narrative of recent US-international and US-Iraq relations, so that the reader might more clearly see the rationale behind the USA plans for invasion. I use the word "invasion" advisedly since the USA has been conducting siege warfare against Iraq for the past twelve years.
In 1979 Saddam Hussein came to full power in Iraq, by killing his opponents, but also on the strength of a massive social uplift program. Under Saddam Hussein, the Ba'ath party virtually eliminated female illiteracy, provided free universal health care, clean water, and free education through graduate level studies for all. By the end of the 1980s, the UN was calling Iraq "an emerging first world nation."
Also in 1979, Iran's Muslim movements engaged in the largest nonviolent demonstration in history to oust the Shah installed by the USA and backed by the US-trained secret police, the Savak. Obviously, then, during the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran War, "The United States couldn't allow Iran to win," explained American officials. The United States supported Saddam Hussein's Iraq even altering American laws so that US companies could sell Iraq the resources for WMDs, and helping Iraq with satellite targeting for chemical warhead attacks on Iran. This support continued through the gassing of the Kurds in Halabja, when the White House intervened to defeat the Senate's "Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988," aimed against Iraq.([16])
As Saddam Hussein's human rights violations became more and more flagrant, the USA response was to send a parade of USA government representatives to support Hussein. People like, Donald Rumsfield, Alan Simpson, James McClure, Robert Dole, and Frank Murkowski, together with US Ambassador April Glaspie. Typical of their statements is one from Senator Howard Metzenbaum, announcing himself "a Jew and a staunch supporter of Israel." He went on to tell Saddam that "I have been sitting here and listening to you for about an hour, and I am now aware that you are a strong and intelligent man and that you want peace."([17])


The Iraq-Iran war involved the use of chemical warfare, the vast militarization of both societies, and cost some 750,000 casualties on both sides. Yet Americans did not consider Iraq as a "threat to security and peace" They actually assisted Iraq. It seems then, that Americans present moral outrage at the crimes of the Iraqi regime absent at the time is at best convenient.
After the Iran-Iraq War in 1990, Iraq attacked Kuwait, a country the USA didn't want them to attack. Shunning every attempt at peaceful resolution, the USA orchestrated "Desert Storm," dropping over 60,000 tons of bombs on Iraq, most of them on the civilian infrastructure. Specifically targeted was the electrical grid from dams to power stations. In effect, the USA unplugged every hospital drug and blood refrigeration unit, every life support machine, and every incubator in Iraq. Irrigation systems failed. Clean water couldn't be provided, and sewage systems broke down. The whole country was flooded with disease-ridden water, "leading to epidemics of cholera, typhoid fever, and gastroenteritis, particularly among children."([18])
As Professor and Holocaust survivor Thomas Nagy has discovered through his research, the USA military knew the effects of their attacks on the civilian population and proceeded with them nonetheless. As an "unnamed Pentagon source" put it, "People say, `You didn't recognize that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage.' Well, what were Americans trying to do with sanctions help out the Iraqi people? No. What American were doing with the attacks on infrastructure was to accelerate the effect of sanctions."([19])
Further, the USA and Britain used depleted uranium 660,000 pounds of the stuff in weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) to attack Iraq. The residue, which has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, contaminates the air, land and water, and causes chromosomal radiation damage especially to soft tissue, and pregnant mothers and their fetuses.
Though it had WMD and had used them in its wars, Iraq did not use WMD during Desert Storm probably because the USA had threatened massive retaliation with WMD if it did. But the question remains: if in the midst of this savage attack on its own civilian population, Iraq did not use WMD even on the invading USA troops, what exactly is the nature of the "threat" that the administration now feels?
In fact, American might push the question further. With the intentional unleashing of typhus, malaria, E coli, amebic dysentery, and diphtheria on Iraq's civilian population through the destruction of infrastructure and sanctions, America might ask, who is using bacteriological warfare in Iraq? With the massive use of radiological weaponry, who is using WMD in Iraq?
And now, for the past twelve years, since Iraq invaded Kuwait, the United States has insisted that the UN maintain those sanctions on Iraq the most comprehensive sanctions in history effectively putting the entire nation of Iraq under prolonged siege. Fundamentally, "sanctions" mean that Iraq's sale of oil is completely controlled by the UN. Without the purchasing power to repair the vast damage of the Gulf War attacks (95% of Iraq's foreign exchange came from the sale of oil), the siege has extended and exponentially increased the effects of the bombing.
But what about the "oil-for-food" [OfF] program? This program allows Iraq to sell its oil. The money from the sale of oil goes into a UN escrow account in the Bank of Paris in New York City. The UN controls those funds, not Iraq. (That fact should put to rest charges that Iraq "uses oil-for-food money to purchase arms." Iraq may want to, but it can't access the money at all.) The UN disburses the money first for reparations, then to finance its own operations in Iraq, and finally to the suppliers with which Iraq has had to make contracts. If the OfF worked perfectly, it would allot each Iraqi about a dollar a day to exist on. But the besiegers can be clever even then.
Every contract under the "oil-for-food" deal has to be approved by a committee. Any member of that committee can veto any contract for any reason. The USA is a permanent member of that committee. And the USA has exercised the veto over 1,500 times in the last 5 years (next is Britain with a paltry 160 vetoes). Sometimes the USA exercises a "straight" veto. For example, the USA invariably vetoes spare parts to repair the water or sewage systems; invariably vetoes spare parts for oil production, always vetoes communication equipment. The USA sometimes vetoes baby milk powder because it has phosphates, and these can be used for bombs. The USA vetoes chlorine for water purification because it can be used for chemical warfare, and the same with many drugs.
But the really winning strategy is what the UN calls "the problem of complementarity." The USA allows life- support machines, then vetoes the computers needed to run them. The USA allows dentists' chairs, and then vetoes the compressors. The USA allows blood bags, and then vetoes the catheters. The USA allows insulin, and then vetoes syringes. The result? The Iraqis "waste" what little money they have on things that don't work. And, the USA State Department can point to a warehouse where they store the insulin, waiting for syringes, and say, "Look, they're hoarding medicine! They have it, but they're not distributing it."
And for the record: all present and past UN heads of the oil-for-food program in Iraq, who monitor the distribution of the already inadequate goods that do manage to get into the country, report that there is no hoarding, no diversion, no leakage in the distribution. In fact, two of those program heads, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, have resigned their 30+-year commissions as Assistant Secretary Generals in the UN to protest the sanctions.
The old system of sanctions on Iraq did not meet its objectives, nor have the newest "smart sanctions" advertised as allowing more consumer goods into Iraq greatly helped the Iraqi people. In addition to items already forbidden by UNSC Resolution 687, the new UNSC Resolution 1409 is accompanied by a 300-page "Goods Review List" of items that have to go through the entire approval (and veto) process. Items not on the list still have to be approved by the IAEA, the UNMOVIC], and the Office of the Iraq Program [OIP]. Since the UN passage of the "smart sanctions," the USA has increased the value of vetoed contracts to nearly $5 billion, reduced its own purchase of Iraqi oil to nearly zero (the USA had, through various companies, been buying up to 60% of Iraqi oil), and insisted that the price of Iraqi oil be set after other companies and countries agreed to purchase it. The cumulative effect of these new measures is to reduce the income from the oil-for-food deal by about 2/3rds. And even then, the "smart sanctions" give no cash to the Iraqi people. So even if goods somehow manage to make it through all those obstacles and arrive on the shelves, the people have no money to purchase them. It is important to remember that this one program was never meant to replace an entire national economy. No amount of tinkering with it will address the fundamental problem: the sanctions have paralyzed the entire economy of Iraq.

What's the result? Three years ago, in August 1999, UNICEF did a study that concluded that the sanctions had cost the lives of half a million Iraqi children under 5 years old. They didn't count 7-year-olds, or 9-year-olds, or people suffering from heart disease, or diabetes, or old folks who fall and break their hip. Just 5-year-olds and under. Half a million children dead from the US-led sanctions. On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked the Pentagon and the city of New York, in a brutally criminal and heartless act, killing nearly 3,000 Americans and foreign visitors. Effectively, the US-led sanctions regime takes that same number of toddlers, and kills them and has done so every three weeks in Iraq for the past twelve years.
Yet, in the face such relentless killing of the Iraqi weak and vulnerable, the Iraqis have not struck at the US. They have not suicide-bombed, or attacked with anthrax, or had anything to do with the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the US. So what is the nature of the "threat" from Iraq? America can't forget that for nearly 12 years, the USA and UK have been bombing Iraq continually, the longest USA bombing campaign since Vietnam. In April 2000, The Washington Post reported that the USA and UK had flown 280,000 sorties over Iraq: sonic booming, bombing, and terror. On August 25, 2002, for example, US planes bombed the southern city of Basra, killing eight more people.

On September 30, 2002, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld held a press conference stating, "Since the Iraqi letter [granting unconditional access to weapons inspectors] arrived few weeks ago, they have fired on coalition aircraft sixty seven times." He went on to assert, "That ought to tell reasonable people something." The implication is that the Iraqi actions are in violation of UN resolutions, and indicate their unwillingness to comply with weapons inspections, which are somehow connected to the US bombing in the no-fly zones.
The problem is that the "no-fly zones" are not authorized by any UN Resolution and are illegal violations of Iraqi sovereignty. Britain, France and the USA unilaterally imposed them. France withdrew in 1998, meaning that the "coalition" consists of Britain and the USA only.
The USA uses cluster bombs, which are not primarily anti-materiel weapons. Their small fragments are designed to harm hands or legs. Occasionally, though, the cluster bombs decapitate people, as was the case with young Omran Jawair, who was decapitated in an open field, while shepherding his sheep. When the villagers came out to try to rescue him, they too were cluster-bombed.([20])
Further, the "no-fly zones" are often "suspended" in the North, to allow Turkish helicopter gun ships and troops into northern Iraq to kill Kurds. Recently, Rumsfeld announced an increase in the bombing, and an increase in the targets in Iraq, apparently "softening them up" for the coming invasion. On September 26, 2002, one of the members of the Iraq peace team reported the bombing of the Basra airport. Yet in all those years, Iraq has never been able to shoot down a single jet over its own territory. How then can it possibly threaten the US?
But isn't Saddam Hussein just a bad guy? Doesn't he support terrorism? Didn't he gas his own people? No one questions that Hussein is a dictator, ruling Iraq with an iron fist, eliminating anyone who threatens his power. This in itself, however, does not provide a "just cause" for invasion. Perhaps some form of humanitarian intervention might be called for, but its first step should be elimination of the economic sanctions, which have killed 10s of thousands of times as many Iraqis as the regime has. Further, an invasion on such grounds does not consider the humanitarian disaster that would ensue.
The USA State Department has charged "Iraq provided bases to several terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), and the Abu Nidal organization (ANO) " ([21]). Just a cursory examination of these groups should give us pause. The Mujahedin-e-Khalq [MEK] is a radical group seeking to overthrow the government of Iran. Perhaps support for such a group might be understandable, given the hostility between Iran and Iraq that exploded into war in 1980-88. What is less understandable is that this very same group has offices in Washington DC, not far from the White House, and is supported by several influential people, including former Sen. Robert Toricelli, Rep. Gary Ackerman, and Sen. Jesse Helms. The PKK is one of the two major groups of Kurds in the north of Iraq, vying for control of the population. The Baghdad regime of course has relations with both groups, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [PUK] and the PKK. Further, the PKK was one of the groups the USA encouraged immediately after the Gulf War. With all this information, it is at best difficult to determine just how seriously to take the "terrorist threat" from Iraq especially since none of these groups has expressed any desire to attack the US. The one group that has not been proven as "supported" by Iraq is al-Qaida. The resolutely secular Iraq regime and that radical religious group find themselves in direct opposition to each other, and all attempts to link them have failed.
As for Hussein's "gassing his own people" in the Kurdish village of Halabja in March 1988, the record is not as clear as the media would like us to believe. Dr. Stephen Pelletiere, recently retired as professor of National Security Affairs at the USA Army War College, studied the gas attack on the Kurds and published "Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War,"([22]) along with Leif Rosenberger and Lt Colonel Dr. Douglas Johnson. That report became "the handbook- the bible - that was issued to all US military units for strategic and tactical guidance during Operation Desert Storm," Pelletiere said. The report states that "Most of the civilians killed at Halabja - and it's very unlikely that as many as 5,000 died - were killed by Iranian poison gas." Pelletiere ends the interview by stating quite frankly: "Bush and Blair want a `regime change' simply because if sanctions were to be lifted then Saddam's regime would favour Russian and French oil companies rather than USA or British multinationals. This dispute has little to do with any war on terrorism. And it is quite wrong that American should base public policy on propaganda and lies."

But why did Hussein kick out the weapons inspectors in the first place? In fact, it was Richard Butler who ordered the weapons inspectors out, as reported in the Times by Josh Friedman on Dec. 17, 1998: "Butler abruptly pulled all of his inspectors out of Iraq shortly after handing Annan a report on Baghdad's continued failure to cooperate with UNSCOM." Butler presented his report to the UN after days of "consultation" with American leaders. He ordered the inspectors pulled out without authorization from the UN Security Council, a move that was condemned by Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov. Further, according to chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter, the Iraqis were "set up" to fail the inspections requirements.
Besides, Ritter asserts, Iraq had been effectively disarmed from its WMD by 1996. Other weapons inspectors, like Raymond Zalinskas and Rolf Ekeus,([23]) agree with him. All WMD production facilities were destroyed. All means for long-range delivery were destroyed. In the four years since the weapons inspectors have been in Iraq, Iraq did not have the economic resources to a) rebuild its factories, b) research, c) develop, d) weaponize, and e) test such weapons. Even if it did, such manufacture would require a distinctive infrastructure railing, a network of access roads, immense power sources and massive construction activity (the more if it were underground, as some fantasies would have us fear). Iraq would have to store and then deploy quantities of WMD sufficiently massive to be used in warfare, and also acquire the means to deliver them. Presently, six billion-dollar USA spy satellites make twelve passes over Iraq every 24 hours. These satellites, which have a day-time imaging resolution of four to six inches, would have spotted such an enormous undertaking. Yet they have discovered nothing in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
In fact, USA intelligence did discover a facility testing the poison gas ricin, in northern Iraq late this summer. But "U.S. officials decided it was not enough of a threat to justify taking military action." Why not? American should note that this activity was in the Kurdish north, a place not under Hussein's control and, more significantly, among a people the USA hopes to enlist for their attacks against the rest of Iraq.
Thus, when the USA discovers actual WMD development and testing among its potential allies in Iraq, it does nothing. However, when it has no evidence of WMD destruction in the rest of Iraq and even expert testimony to the contrary it is prepared to undertake a massive attack, killing thousands, or tens of thousands of Iraqis.
Furthermore, the International Atomic Energy Agency of the UN has continuously inspected Iraq for nuclear weapons. These inspections have proceeded even after Butler withdrew the UNSCOM inspectors. The last was in January 2002, when the chief inspector Anrzey Pietruzewski reported that Iraq had cooperated fully with the inspectors. "During our inspection, representatives from the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission were present for the whole time and all help that is necessary to perform the inspections was provided by Iraqi authorities."([24])
For the record, the IAEA never reported that Iraq was "six months away" from producing a nuclear weapon. This charge was repeated by Tony Blair in a September 7 news conference, and confirmed by President Bush. Much of the press took this to mean that Iraq was six months away in 1998. "Clarification" from White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott McClellan was that the President was referring to the initial report from the IAEA in 1991. However, IAEA spokesperson Mark Gwozdecky refuted both statements on behalf of the IAEA, saying that the IAEA had never issued any such report. It is instructive to read the entire story of this misinformation, including The Washington Times' observation: "Many news agencies including The Washington Times reported Mr. Bush's Sept. 7 comments as referring to a 1998 IAEA report. The White House did not ask for a correction from The Times." The point, I believe, is to cultivate fear, which requires a certain degree of ignorance.
Finally, Ritter has been touring the US, telling people that the US used the information he uncovered during his investigations to bomb civilian targets in an attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein and his cadre. Now that Iraq has agreed to let the weapons inspectors back in, American might ask what guarantees Iraq would have that the inspections would not again be used to further the declared US plan to remove or assassinate Iraq's leadership? When Iraq requested such assurances from Kofi Annan, the UN Security Council refused to consider them. Americans might ask: What does "unfettered access everywhere" mean? Every field, every church, every mosque, every home? How could such an inspection regime ever be concluded? How could it ever be completely complied with? It is a legitimate concern that such specious "non-compliance" would now be used to justify an invasion.

To summarize, what led to the collapse of the first inspections regime was not Iraqi noncompliance, but US interference. This interference continues to this day, as the US holds up the inspections while seeking a stronger resolution. When Hussein finally yielded to threats of invasion (and to the pleadings of the Arab League, and past UN officials) and offered to re-invite the inspectors "without conditions," the "news made United States officials furious," and the USA undertook the two-part strategy for invasion described at the beginning of this essay. It looks as though, to put it bluntly, "The White House's biggest fear is that UN weapons inspectors will be allowed to go in."
But what if the weapons inspectors (who spent almost 8 years with "unfettered access" in Iraq), and the ongoing International Atomic Energy Agency inspections, and the monitoring by the spy satellites, are all wrong? Let's imagine that Iraq has managed (with little money and less materiel) to rebuild its factories, and to research, develop, test, weaponize and store and then deploy quantities of WMD sufficiently massive to be used in warfare, and to acquire the means to deliver them. Let's imagine that, while the Kurds in the north of Iraq killed a few animals in a closed room with ricin and were detected by the US, this enormous undertaking by Iraq has somehow managed to escape US attention. What if somehow, Iraq really does have weapons of mass destruction? Then an invasion would surely be the wrong way to go about getting them, in fact, would probably assure their being used.
The government of Iraq had such weapons during the 1991 attacks of the Gulf War. It did not use them, though it had used them before in war. They restrained themselves in this war evidently because the USA threatened massive retaliation with WMD if Iraq did use its WMD. This deterrence had force, because a national government wants to stay in power; even dictators tend to want to have a country to dictate over. But if a ground invasion goes forward, and the "regime change" is about to take place, then the force of deterrence is lacking. The regime, now having nothing to lose, would use these weapons.
In another and very likely scenario (given the aftermath of the Afghanistan attacks), a ground invasion could cause Iraq to implode into civil war, with rival factions struggling for control. If such a faction or factions gained control of these WMDs, deterrence would have no force on them, since they are not in charge of the whole country. Some faction(s) may even be suicidal, simply wishing to destroy enemies at all costs. And the weapons would be used. Or people may steal the weapons, escape with them through borders made porous by the collapse of the government and by the movement of refugees.
Thus an invasion for "regime change" would increase the likelihood of the Iraq's use of WMD to near certainty. An invasion would be exactly the wrong thing to do if Iraq did have WMD. The fact that the US military is planning such an invasion is, I submit, the surest sign that the US knows that Iraq doesn't have them. The best way to address the problem of WMD remains a return of weapons inspectors, certainly not invasion. OK, so if the sanctions and bombing and vetoes are not about weapons inspections, or terror, what are they for? It may be, as Sen. Robert Byrd suggested, invasion plans distract the American public from domestic problems the falling stock market, job loss, housing problems.([25])

How true it is, however, that the USA wants to control Iraq's oil the second largest oil reserves in the world? Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that the issue for the USA was as much the security of the Gulf as access to particular oilfields: "You are looking down the line to a world in 2020 when reliance on Gulf oil will have more than doubled. The security of the Gulf is an absolutely critical issue." Gerald Butt, Gulf editor of the Middle East Economic Survey, said: "The removal of Saddam is, in effect, the removal of the last threat to the free flow of oil from the Gulf as a whole."
During the July 31-August 1 hearings on Iraq in the USA Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the ranking representative of the Republican Party, Senator Richard Lugar, submitted a strategy for urging other countries to join the USA in invading Iraq: The USA should tell other countries that " Americans are going to run the oil business. Americans are going to run it well, Americans are going to make money; and it's going to help pay for the rehabilitation of Iraq because there is money there." The USA could then put pressure on other countries by saying, ". . . furthermore, if you want to be involved in that business, whether you're Russians or French or whoever, you must be with us in the beginning of this business. Americans are going to set up the business together. Americans are going in together. Because once American get there, Americans are going to control the oil business."
In a revealing article, reporters Dan Morgan and David B. Ottaway write, "A U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq," noting that "American and foreign oil companies have already begun maneuvering for a stake in the country's huge proven reserves of 112 billion barrels of crude oil, the largest in the world outside Saudi Arabia." The USA could use its control of these oil fields to coerce members of the UNSC into cooperation for an invasion.
With the US troops finding themselves increasingly unwelcome in Saudi Arabia, it would make sense to transfer them to a post-invasion Iraq. The USA continues to give many reasons for the siege reasons that prove specious upon the slightest examination. But the 12-year siege has failed to change the Iraqi regime. With the failure and possible collapse of the siege, the USA is now considering intensifying its ongoing war for the oil resources of Iraq with a massive ground attack.
Americans have seen that initiating a ground attack against Iraq would be entirely unjustified. I hope American have seen that maintaining the genocidal siege of sanctions is unjustifiable as well. If Americans need to present the case against an invasion, there are other arguments as well.


First, the loss of lives. Iraq will be attacked with the now standard American military policy of "overwhelming force," or, as Bush put it, "the full force and fury of the United States military will be unleashed." In effect, this policy entails a total obliteration of any possible military opposition or threat. Any honest military officers will tell you that their job is to achieve this objective with little or no loss of troops. That means that if an officer suspects that a grove might have weapons to kill troops, artillery will be called down on it. The same goes for a village, town or city. Thus any ground invasion will mean massive loss of life, mostly Iraqi civilian lives. This loss will be intensified by the utter collapse of whatever life-sustaining civilian infrastructure the Iraqis have been able to cobble together. Further, according to the January 2002 "Nuclear Posture Review," the U.S. has considerably lowered the threshold for a nuclear attack against Iraq.([26])
The Iraqis may be intimidated by such an invasion, but it is sheer delusion to think that after 12 years of US-led bombing, sanctions, vetoes, and hundreds of thousands killed, they would then embrace the invading USA troops as they kill more Iraqis. I cannot see that the "direct casualties" of USA invasion troops would be great, though Major General Patrick Cordingley, who led the British Armoured Brigade in the 1991 attacks against Iraq, has estimated 37,000 casualties among the 250,000 invading forces. This is the standard figure (15%) for casualties for invaders. I believe that the figure for direct casualties in this case is high, since the Iraqis have no real defense. Since the 1991 attacks against Iraq, 7,758 Gulf War veterans have died, and nearly 200,000 have filed for medical and compensation benefits. If the USA post-war casualties in any way resemble the post-war casualties of the 1991 attacks, America can expect significant suffering and death for the invaders. Any death or suffering Iraqi or American is tragic, especially if it could be avoided, and especially if it is for economic gain.
Second, International Law and the UN. With the exception of England, Israel and perhaps Turkey, none of the 184 other nations in the UN supports the US plan for invading Iraq. In fact, Nelson Mandela called the USA a "threat to world peace" in its actions toward Iraq.
Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair is supportive, but his backing is weak. Even after Bush's UN speech and Blair's endorsement, British polls showed a majority against the invasion. And this was before Iraq's unconditional acceptance of the return of UN inspectors. Blair commissioned a group of Whitehall lawyers to establish a case for the invasion, but it backfired: the lawyers agreed that it would be against international law to invade. He finally acceded to a debate in Parliament, but refused to allow a vote. Both Robin Cook, Leader of the Commons, and Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development, have "broken ranks" with Blair. The presentation of his "dossier" about Iraq's crimes still hasn't convinced the British public to back the US invasion of Iraq. On Saturday, September 28, 2002, British protestors staged what The London Independent called "one of the biggest peace demonstrations seen in a generation" (9/29/02). Estimates of the rally ranged from 150,000 (police) to 400,000 (the organizers, and some London newspapers). Predictably, The New York Times and The Washington Post failed to give it much attention, assigning one sentence, and two sentences, respectively, in the middle of other articles.
The UN Security Council is in favor of having its resolutions obeyed in Iraq as with all nations. No one, however, has acceded to any military action (including bombing) in Iraq if the UNSC demands are not met. A further note on the UNSC's reaction to Bush's speech: by "agreeing" that Iraq might be an "international threat," the UNSC kept the discussion of Iraq under its own jurisdiction. If it were not a matter of international security, then the issue would no longer be under the authority of the Security Council and would be a matter for the General Assembly. The Security Council especially the five permanent members would be quite reluctant to have the question of Iraq pass out of its control. Thus the planned invasion can be seen as a widening of the USA break from international law and conventions, and therefore threatening to the already fragile international community structure.
Third, the Middle East. The Arab world watches as Israel (which possesses WMD) presses on with its program to eliminate the Palestinians, in defiance of scores of UN resolutions most recently September 24, 2002.27 Additionally, the USA has exercised sole veto against dozens of resolutions that would have sanctioned Israel for defying the resolutions passed by the UNSC, and the threat of the USA veto has killed many more. At best, the Arab countries see a double standard at work between the unconditional support for Israel's policies, and the cruel attack on the people of Iraq. An invasion would at least mean immense and lasting turmoil in the rest of the Middle East, with more repression in response, and might even precipitate attacks on Israel as well. The head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, has said a U.S. strike would "open the gates of hell" in the Middle East.
All the Arab nations (including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) have, in the Arab League, called for an end to the sanctions on Iraq. This solidarity with Iraq was reiterated at the Beirut Summit in March 2002. Looking at all those factors, together with the "war on terrorism" the Arab countries have begun to decrease their trade with the USA significantly in the last year.
Further, Arab states have formally rejected participation in the USA invasion. Saudi Arabia has refused to allow the USA to use its soil for bases for the attack, unless approved by the entire international community. Americans should note that these nearby nations do not feel the "threat" from Iraq that the USA seems to feel.

Fourth, (the Cost). The USA insistence that it will, "do it alone", in Iraq([27]) means that 100% of the low estimate of $70 billion will have to be borne solely by USA taxpayers. (80% of the $60 billion price tag for the 1991 Gulf War [$80 billion in 2002 dollars] was borne by USA allies; the rest by the USA alone.) American could ask if this money might be better spent domestically, especially if there are nonviolent and more effective ways of dealing with the problems.
Further, a "spike" in Middle East oil prices could lead to a worldwide recession. Such a spike has preceded every recession in the past 30 years. Even the normally conservative IMF has cautioned that the invasion of Iraq would "not be a very healthy development."
Fifth, the "Day After." Even if invasion of Iraq were successful in overthrowing Saddam Hussein, Americans need to consider the consequences. What kind of regime would replace the present regime? The USA is not known for establishing democracies. (Of course, "imposing democracy" is a contradiction in terms.) The British Sunday Herald has called the possible "successors" to Saddam, "Corrupt, feckless, and downright dangerous. Some say they even make the `Butcher of Baghdad' look good." One of them, General Nizar Al-Khazraji is accused by many human rights groups of heading the chemical attack on Halabja in the Kurdish area of Iraq.
Americans should have no illusions, therefore, about the USA government's intentions for Iraq. Congressman Tom Lantos of California, leader of the Democratic Party caucus in the House of Representatives' International Affairs Committee, recently said to a member of Israel's Knesset: "We'll be rid of the bastard [Saddam] soon enough. And in his place we'll install a pro-Western dictator, who will be good for us and for you." His pro-dictatorship remarks reiterate the US policy which supported Hussein in the first place, and should prompt us to examine the myth proposed by President Bush in his September 12, 2002 speech to the UN, that "The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq."
Further, it is possible that Iraq might split up, with an ensuing civil war. Such a war, involving the Kurds (whose population spans four states) and the Shi'a Muslims, might spread throughout the region. How much would the USA have to invest in personnel and resources to control Iraq after such an invasion? How long would the people stand for any imposed government? The mythical "Afghanistan model" doesn't work. As James Rubin, former assistant secretary of State points out, the USA doesn't control Afghanistan; it barely controls the capital Kabul. Such a lawless attack can only encourage more lawlessness in international relations. Especially for peoples without military and economic power, this lawlessness would take the form of what American would call "terror."
Finally, the Immorality. In a magnificent and courageous statement, 2500 British church leaders, including Rowan Williams, Archbishop-elect of Canterbury, wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair, declaring that an invasion of Iraq would be "deplorable," against UN conventions and Christian principles. Calling for Mr. Blair to support a peaceful and legally justified solution to the problem of Iraq, the statement added: "American deplore any military action that regards the deaths of innocent men, women and children as a price worth paying in fighting terrorists, since this is to fight terror with terror."
When Jimmy Carter received the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, Nobel committee chair Gunnar Berge said the judges' choice of the former USA president "can and must be interpreted as a criticism of the position of the administration currently sitting in the USA towards Iraq."
In early September 2002, Sant'Egidio, a lay Catholic movement famed for conflict resolution and promotion of human rights, called its annual interfaith meeting. Among the over 400 attendees, condemnation for the US "war on terror" was intense and virtually universal. Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Ramzi Garmo of Tehran, Iran, asked, "If Sept. 11 had happened anywhere else, would it have had the same impact?" Garmo asked. "Take Iraq as an example. Hundreds of thousands have died because one very powerful nation wants the embargo to continue. What is the difference between Iraqi children and the victims in New York? Is American blood worth more than blood in other countries?" His question drew "strong applause."([28])
Experience has shown that, unfortunately, America cannot expect such a strong stance from the Christian leadership of the US, with the possible exception of the Presbyterian Church. In fact, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, apostolic nuncio of the Holy Sea to the United Nations, has criticized American Catholic leaders' response to the crisis: "Instead of `Holy God We Bless [sic] Thy Name,' many were singing `God Bless America,'" Martin said. "We can't allow other things to slip into our message."
What to do? Despite claims of "working through the UN," US armed forces are being built up massively in the Gulf area. This activity imparts a psychological, economic and military momentum to invasion that is difficult to resist. It is difficult to believe that anything will deter the present administration from an invasion of Iraq.
Finally, people of the world are beginning to consider the question whether the US government has become less and less truthful and less and less representative of the people. Legislative offices reported receiving faxes, emails and phone calls that ran five and ten and even twenty-t- one against the resolution eventually adopted by Congress. Recent polls show the US populace is opposed to an invasion without support from the UN or allies.([29]) Even more, many American citizens are concerned with the irregularities of the last presidential election, when the Supreme Court effectively appointed the President. They are concerned with the possible abrogation of the Constitution, specifically in the recent passing of warmaking powers from the Congress to the President and increasingly, in the operation of a mercenary army not under the control of Congress.([30])

[1] The text of the Joint Resolution can be found at:

[2] (

[3] Jim Abrams, "House Approves Iraq Resolution," The Washington Post, October 10, 2002.

[4] The complete speech may be found at

[5] Detailed critiques of the President's speech can be found at "Detailed Analysis of October 7 Speech by Bush on Iraq." Institute for Public Accuracy, Robert Scheer, "Truth on Iraq Seeps Through," Los Angeles Times, October 8, 2002,,0,5814986.column, Robert Jensen, "Bush's Leaps of Illogic Don't Answer People's Questions About War ,", Robert Fisk, "What the US President Wants Us to Forget," The Independent, October 9, 2002,, Anthony Arnove, "Bush Peddles War," ZNet Commentary, October 9, 2002,, Simon Tisdall, "America's Great Misleader," The Guardian, October 8, 2002,,7792,806965,00.html

[6] A revealing and disturbing report of this pressure can be found in Warren P. Strobel, Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott, "Officials' Private Doubts On Iraq War," Philadelphia Inquirer, October 8, 2002.

[7] See for example, Julian Borger, "White House 'Exaggerating Iraqi Threat,': Bush's Televised Address Attacked by US Intelligence," The Guardian, October 9, 2002.,3604,807194,00.html

[8] A 1964 uncritically accepted, yet false report by the Lyndon Johnson administration of an attack on U.S. ship, to justify a massive increase of military attacks on Vietnam. See Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon, "30-Year Anniversary: Tonkin Gulf Lie Launched Vietnam War," Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR], July 27, 1994.

[9] The entire speech is available at:

[10] For the official UN text of this offer, see:

[11] Iraq made concession to UN over interviews, Blix letter shows," Yahoo News, October 9, 2002.

[12] For a brief and biting summary of the US coercion of the UNSC vote, see John Pilger, "Diplomacy?" in The New Statesman, September 19, 2002.

[13] See the quote from Senator Lugar, below.

[14] In August, the US added the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (opposed to Chinese rule) to its list of proscribed terrorist groups. For a list of other "deals" expected to be made, see Tom Raum, "Bush Administration's Iraq Campaign Includes Behind-Scenes Bartering ," AP September 21, 2002,

[15] For example, the US has offered to remove the phrase "all necessary means" from the enforcement clause of the proposed UNSC resolution, and replace it with "consequences." This would be interpreted by the US , especially in the light of the wording of HJ Res. 114, as warranting a ground invasion. See also: Steve LeBlanc, "Annan: U.N. Security Council Will Likely Adopt Two-Part Iraq Resolution," AP, October 11, 2002.

[16] 16[23] George P. Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993), pg. 238. Cf. also, Noam Chomsky "What We Say Goes": The Middle East in the New World Order, A Post-War Teach-in April 4, 1991, published in Z Magazine, May 1991 , Vol. 1, No. 5;

[17] 17  [25]As reported by Robert Fisk, "Saddam Hussein: The last great tyrant," The Independent, December 30, 2000.

[18] Leon Eisenberg, M.D, "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters -- Human Costs of Economic Sanctions," New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 336(17).Apr 24, 1997,p. 1248.

[19] Barton Gellman, "Allied Air War Struck Broadly in Iraq; Officials Acknowledge Strategy Went Beyond Purely Military Targets," The Washington Post, June 23, 1991, Sunday, p. A.1.

[20] Edward Cody, "Under Iraqi Skies, A Canvas Of Death; Tour Of Villages Reveals Human Cost Of U.S.-Led Sorties In 'No-Fly' Zones," The Washington Post, June 16, 2000 ; p. A01

[21] Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, "Patterns of Global Terrorism," May 21, 2002.

[22] Available at

[23] For a professional evaluation of the effectiveness of the inspections, see Rolf Ekeus, "Yes, Let's Go Into Iraq - With an Army of Inspectors," Washington Post, September 14, 2002.

[24] January 31, 2002, Reuters, "Iraq Co-Operated with Nuclear Inspection - IAEA"

[25] Paul J. Nyden, "Bush's war plans are a cover-up, Byrd says," The Charleston Gazette, September 21, 2002, p. 1. The entire speech presents many excellent questions that server to derail the plunge toward war. Also see Alexander Cockburn, "The Dogs of War, The Bears of Wall Street," Counterpunch, September 25, 2002.

[26] These include: if Iraq attacks any of its neighbors; if Israel is attacked; if U.S. forces are attacked with chemical or biological weapons; if the United States military encounters targets impervious to conventional weapons; and in the event of "surprising military developments." See excerpts from the text at

[27] BBC News, "US Ready To 'Go It Alone,'" February 2, 2002,; Naveed Raja, "Rumsfeld: US will Go It Alone on Iraq," The Mirror, August 28, 2002.

[28] John L. Allen Jr., "Criticism of war on terror dominates interfaith meeting ," National Catholic Reporter, September 13, 2002,

[29] Harris Poll, October 9, 2002.; See also, "Public Support for Iraq Attack Steady - Poll," Reuters, October 12, 2002.

[30] See Leslie Wayne, "America's Secret For-Profit Army," The New York Times, October 13, 2002. It is arguable that the maintenance of this army violates Article I, Sec 8, Cls 16-15 of the US Constitution.