Lies, Half-Truths and WMD

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons." George W. Bush, September 12, 2002

“Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.” George W. Bush, January 28, 2003

“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction and is determined to make more.” Colin Powell, February 5, 2003

“We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.” George Bush, February 8, 2003

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.” George Bush, March 18, 2003

“I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.” Kenneth Adelman, US Defense Policy Board , March 23, 2003

“We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.” Donald Rumsfeld March 30, 2003

“We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.” George Bush April 24, 2003

“Before people crow about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, I suggest they wait a bit.” Tony Blair, 28 April, 2003

“I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.” Donald Rumsfeld May 4, 2003

“I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago - I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago - whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.” Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne May 13, 2003

“Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.” Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, May 26, 2003

“For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.” Paul Wolfowitz, May 28, 2003

"I don't believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons." Donald Rumsfeld, May 14, 2003

"We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003

In the months leading up to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Bush-Blair regimes produced reams of documents to prove Iraq was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and how Saddam could realistically fire them within 45 minutes. As they geared up for ‘war’ they reiterated time and again that their intention was solely to rid Iraq of its WMD and make the world a more stable place for decent and god-fearing people to live in. They campaigned long and hard for their war – for the support of their peers in governments and for the backing of the US and British electorates and, convinced they had the mandate for war, invaded Iraq in March. Three months after the end of the fighting no ‘illegal’ weapons have been found and the odds of finding any diminish greatly as the days go by.

The recent admission from a British security chief that the 50 page "intelligence" report on Iraq's WMD presented by Tony Blair to Parliament on 24 September last year - and used as the Labour government’s evidence for Iraq’s illicit weapons inventory - was spiced up on the government’s instructions came as no real surprise for those who have scrutinised the unfolding of the US-UK war with Iraq and the Labour government’s desperation to be part of it. Since the transatlantic plan to invade Iraq was hatched it was apparent that Truth would again be the first casualty of war.

For their part, the CIA and their British counterparts have tried to distance themselves from their respective governments these past few weeks, with unprecedented briefings and leaks to the press, desperate to avoid the backlash that has lead to some serious questioning in London and Washington.

On a visit to Poland on 30th May, Tony Blair told a press conference that finding the weapons in Iraq was "not the most urgent priority". And yet, according to the claims of the dossier that he defends, Saddam Hussein "has a useable chemical and biological weapons capability" and that his "current military planning specifically envisages the use" of these weapons. For months we had the Blair government ramming the WMD issue down our throats, pleading for our support for his war with Saddam, who threatened the civilisation we cherished Yet as Saddam and his military top brass, who presumably know about these WMD, which are yet to be found, are still on the run, we are told that finding the weapons is not is not an urgent priority?

Also now discredited by the CIA is the evidence US Sec of State Colin Powell eagerly displayed to the UN Security Council at the beginning of February. Powell provided explicit particulars of the key players in Iraq’s WMD programme as well as the sites that are now under US military control. Nevertheless, the biologically-armed "missile brigade", which he claimed was situated outside Baghdad has proved to be a figment of his imagination and the weapons scientists he informed the world were afraid of talking because of Saddam’s reach have not yet disclosed any secrets. As with the alleged "poison camp" near Khurmal, its labyrinth of tunnels and complex chemical communication network, so too with the photos of twenty or so Baghdad-based al-Qaeda members the UN was presented with. No evidence whatsoever.

In spite of every quality newspaper demanding answers from Blair in the wake of the secret services admission, Blair, it seemed, was learning nothing. Rather than running for cover he began blurting more lies, claiming that Iraq tried to purchase uranium from the African state of Niger. The documentary evidence this fresh allegation was based on has since been confirmed a forgery by the International Atomic Energy Authority. Indeed, the Bush administration was aware that this evidence was bogus a year earlier – something Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice have since admitted. Moreover, early last year Vice President Dick Cheney sent a former US ambassador in Africa to Niger to look into the story. Although the latter brought back word that the documents were not genuine, this was not sufficient to prevent the use of these documents as part of Bush’s rationale for the invasion of Iraq.

The sorry situation becomes more pathetic. US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld has lately offered that the reason Saddam’s WMD can’t be found is because they were destroyed before the war started. In other words the US-Britain invaded Iraq to rid the region of weapons Saddam never had and indeed that Saddam claimed he never had and which the UN weapons inspectors suggested he never had. If this was the case, then Saddam could never have been in breach of the famous resolution 1441, which was the justification for war.
Critics might consider that in light of recent revelations Blair should resign and that Bush should be impeached. Surely politicians should not be allowed to lie like this! But hold on. Lying is the trade of politicians under capitalism.

Back in 1925, Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: “This broad mass of a nation…will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one. ” Blair and Bush are fully aware of the power of the big lie, so little wonder they thought they could get away with it. Moreover, they are fully aware their support base swallow lies every living moment of the day. For the workers’ part they are lied to from the cradle to the grave: at school with distortions of history and the myth about a God up above; in the workplace, as producers, lied to by their bosses and at home as consumers bombarded with the myths perpetuated by the advertising industry.

To be sure, the entire capitals edifice depends for its continued survival on the promotion of lies, half truths and the distortion of facts. So powerful is the capitalist distortion machine that it takes all our powers of concentration, memory recall and skills of research just to separate the simplest of lies from fantasy. This constant digest of misinformation perhaps explains the amnesia the majority of workers appear to suffer from. And what is exasperating is that in spite of all the evidence revealing the architects of war to be the conniving and scheming rapscallions we always knew them to be, it is a fair bet that workers will again be ready to believe their lies when Iran is found to be stockpiling WMD, to be aiming for a nuclear capacity and harbouring al-Qaeda terrorists.

It’s a fair bet now that WMD will be found in Iraq – planted there by corrupt western regimes desperate to justify their invasion of Iraq. And this evidence will likely be used not only to prop up the discredited Messrs Bush and Blair but also to malign the anti-war movement - which claimed this was a war for oil - and to further strengthen their case for a continuation of the “war on terror”.

In the months ahead be careful what you swallow


Curbing China's Designs on Oil

Make no mistake about it – the hell about to be unleashed in the Middle East has far less to do with transatlantic designs to curb Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction and everything to do with US control of the region’s oil supplies.

The US has long been aware that its own oil supplies were not going to last forever. Indeed, it is now estimated that existing US oil deposits will be exhausted within 25-30 years, which is about the time that China will have the same oil demands as the US. With this realisation the US is now securing its future control of the world’s oil supplies – hence its operation since 9/11 to surround Asian oil supplies with US military bases, a move that also puts US bases within striking distance of China.

Having already installed its military throughout Central Asia, the US is now in the process of doing the same in Western Asia. As China endeavours to arrange its future supplies of oil and gas, it finds itself everywhere blocked by the US. This much was hinted at in the recent US National Security Strategy with Bush announcing America’s right of defence (with military action) to any threats to its interests.

How does China enter the equation you may ask? Aside from the fact that China will become a leading oil importer within the next decade, the US has long since recognised China as a likely threat to its plan to dominate the markets of East and South-East Asia. But for the moment, curbing China’s designs on oil is a chief concern of the US. It can sort out the problem of China as a commercial rival in time.

China has been yearning for a gas pipeline from the Caspian region to China since around 1995. Intent on creating a security-cum-economic organisation for the planned pipeline, China took steps to initiate a group called the “Shanghai Five” (later six) consisting of China, Russia, and the significant Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and later Uzbekistan). Ostensibly, the idea for the group was to control fundamentalism and terrorism in the region (stretching to China’s westernmost Xinjiang province). Conversely, with the US’s invasion of Afghanistan, and the setting up of its military bases in the very countries who were to be in the Shanghai grouping, China’s plan was sabotaged. Later, during a trip to Iran, Chinese president Jiang Zemin stated that “‘Beijing’s policy is against strategies of force and the U.S. military presence in Central Asia and the Middle East region’.... Beijing would work together with developing nations to counter American ‘hegemonism.’”

Last year, Chinese firms purchased two Indonesian fields for $585 million and $262 million, respectively. Moreover, Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri has visited China twice since 2001, hoping to bag a $9 billion contract to supply liquid natural gas to power industries in southern China. In time with this the US increased its activities in the Indonesian neighbourhood, coercing the Philippines into accepting US “help” in rooting out fundamentalists, patrolling the Malacca straits with the Indian navy, and forcing Indonesia to accept US ‘cooperation’ in containing Al Qaeda elements in Indonesia itself. Back in December of 2001, a RAND Corporation presentation to a US Congress committee on “threats to the security and stability of Southeast Asia and to US security interests in the region,” outlined a chief area of concern as being “China’s emergence as a major regional power.” It argued that “China’s assertiveness will increase as its power grows.” It conjectured that “conflict could be triggered by energy exploration or exploitation activities”, and suggested the formation of a “comprehensive security network in the Asia-Pacific region.” Departing from the line that it was hunting for a handful of Abu Sayyaf guerrillas in the Philippines, the RAND Corporation says that “the US should provide urgently needed air defence and naval patrol assets to the Philippines to help Manila re-establish deterrence vis-a-vis China and give a further impetus to the revitalization of the United States-Philippine defence relationship.... the US should expand and diversify its access and support arrangements in Southeast Asia to be able to effectively respond in a timely way to unexpected contingencies. After all, six months ago, who would have thought that US armed forces would be confronted with the need to plan and execute a military campaign in Afghanistan?” Like the US, China simply cannot ignore its reliance on west Asian oil. China has oil field development contracts with those very countries in west Asia targeted by US sanctions—Iraq, Iran, Libya and Sudan. With this entire region now to be besieged with the invasion of Iraq, China’s deals are destined to be dealt the same severe blow as its plan for a central Asian pipeline. Scarcely startling, then, that “Chinese leaders believe that the US seeks to contain China and [the US] is therefore a major threat to its [China’s] energy security”, as the US-China Security Review Commission’s report points out. (“China digs for Middle East oil, US gets fired up”, Reuters, 24/9/02).