By: Sam K Zinnah
On Sunday, March 16, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney emerged from his cave to appear on the NBC News “Meet the Press” show, for a one-hour interview with Tim Russert. In the course of the hour, Cheney all-but-announced that there was nothing that Saddam Hussein could do to avert an unprovoked and unjustifiable American military invasion of Iraq. Cheney repeatedly referred to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as the “historic watershed” that, for the first time, justified an American unilateral preventive war. Yet Cheney himself, a dozen years earlier, had embraced the idea of preventive war--not against a Saddam Hussein who had been armed by the Reagan and Bush Administrations with weapons of mass destruction, but against any nation or combination of nations that challenged American global military primacy in the post-Soviet world. On the pivotal issue of preventive war, Cheney was lying, willfully. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Cheney's extraordinary hour-long pronouncement was composed, almost exclusively, of disinformation, which had either already been publicly discredited, or would soon be exposed as lies.
Cheney asserted that Saddam Hussein was actively pursuing the acquisition of nuclear weapons, when, days earlier, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief weapons inspector Mohammed El-Baradei had testified before the UN Security Council that the allegations were based on documents determined to be forgeries. Indeed, in the March 31 issue of The New Yorker magazine, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh detailed how IAEA investigators had determined, in just several hours of research, that purported Niger government communiqués confirming the sale of 500 tons of “yellow cake” uranium precursor to Baghdad, were shoddy forgeries, drawn up on outdated Niger government letterheads. Hersh wrote that the forgeries were passed to the Bush Administration, through British MI6, and had probably originated with the British intelligence service, with the Mossad, or with Iraqi oppositionists affiliated with the Iraqi National Congress (INC) of Dr. Ahmed Chalabi.
Cheney also repeated the by-then-thoroughly-discredited charge that Saddam Hussein had “longstanding” ties to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, and that it was “only a matter of time” before Saddam Hussein provided the bin Laden gang with weapons of mass destruction--biological, chemical, and, ultimately, nuclear. As Cheney well knew, an October 2002 assessment from Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director George Tenet, delivered to the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee, had pointedly stated that Saddam Hussein would only resort to WMD, or engage with al-Qaeda, if he felt that he was backed into a corner and facing imminent American military attack. Repeated efforts by “war party” operatives, like former Director of Central Intelligence and Iraqi National Congress lobbyist R. James Woolsey, had failed to turn up any credible evidence of Saddam-al-Qaeda links, particularly prior to Sept. 11, 2001.
Perhaps Cheney's biggest lie--which flew in the face of all assessments from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and State Department Middle East experts--was that the military conquest of Iraq would be a “cakewalk.” Cheney told Russert, “Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”
Russert challenged Cheney's rosy forecast: “If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?”
To which Cheney responded: “Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House.... The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but that they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that.” Later in the interview, Cheney added, “If you look at the opposition, they've come together, I think, very effectively, with representatives from Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish elements in the population.”
Towards the end of his performance, the Vice President extended his “cakewalk liberation” forecast, to further assert that American preventive military action to overthrow Saddam Hussein would stabilize the Middle East. He cited Dr. Bernard Lewis, the British Arab Bureau spook and author of the “Arc of Crisis,” “Islamic card” fiasco, as his authority: “I firmly believe, along with, you know, men like Bernard Lewis, who's one of the great, I think, students of that part of the world, that strong, firm U.S. response to terror and to threats to the United States would go a long way, frankly, towards calming things in that part of the world.”
Almost exactly 80 hours after Cheney's appearance on NBC-TV, the United States launched an unprovoked and unnecessary war on Iraq. According to Washington-based senior Arab diplomatic sources, governments of the Middle East were told by top Bush Administration officials, on the eve of the attack, that the Iraq war would be over in seven Vice President Cheney's lying performance on “Meet the Press” was no mere act of personal hubris and folly. His declaration of preventive war against Iraq--which neo-conservative allies, like self-professed “universal fascist” Michael Ledeen, more frankly celebrated as the beginning of a perpetual Clash of Civilizations war, targeting virtually every Arab nation-state in the Middle East--marked the culmination of a campaign of more than a dozen years, to permanently redraw the map of the Near East and Persian Gulf, through unending war and colonialist raw material seizure.
Even more than that, it signaled a long-in-the-making policy putsch in Washington by a small group of neo-conservatives--a majority of whom were followers of the German-born fascist philosopher Leo Strauss (1899-1973). Their policy is to permanently transform the United States, from a Constitutional republic, dedicated to the pursuit of the general welfare and a community of principle among perfectly sovereign nation-states, into a brutish, post-modern imitation of the Roman Empire, engaged in murderous imperial adventures abroad, and brutal police-state repression at home.
Before President George W Bush Jr ordered the Iraq invasion on 3/30/2003, he received numerous warnings from people “high and low” telling him that the U.S. had not proven its case against Iraq, and that Iraq probably did not possess Weapons of Mass destructions (WMD). But according to the March 31, 2003 issue of The New Yorker magazine, Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh had detailed how International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA) chief weapons inspector Mohammed El-Baradei had testified before the U.N. Security Council that the allegations were based on documents determined to be forgeries by the Bush administration in collaboration with Iraqi opposition members. President Bush with his mater plan lairs went ahead and began attacking Iraq at about 2:30 GMT on March 20, 2003.
Since March 20, 2003, the U.S. led coalition-forces have suffered heavy casualties from insurgents in Iraq. Up to present, there seem to be no clear Democratic future of Iraq. The situation has become completely dangerous but Bush and his oil-greedy-conservative-Republicans continued to lie to the world about the uncontrollable situation in Iraq.