WEB EXCLUSIVE COLUMN: Iraq war remains wrong as ever

Greg Schwartz

Credit: Greg Schwartz

This weekend marks the two-year anniversary of the Bush regime’s contrived invasion of Iraq. The death toll keeps mounting and the given reason for going to war — Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction — has proven unfounded. The Bush regime is now generally considered to be guilty of mass deception.

Many Republicans who supported the invasion two years ago now say they would have done otherwise if they’d known the WMD charges were bogus. Yet they still can’t bring themselves to believe that the Bush regime intentionally misled the public. To this I say, wake up and smell the coffee, folks!

There is a propaganda machine at work here that hasn’t been seen since Hitler’s Nazi party was in power. Calling the invasion “Operation Iraqi Freedom” is one of the biggest red herrings of all time, pure Orwellian newsspeak. This invasion was all about the oil.

Bush and his Big Oil pals are withholding a key piece of the puzzle — the global oil supply is peaking out and so they’re trying to forcibly grab as much of it as they can. They’re doing this when they should be helping Detroit increase production of hybrid vehicles that would reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Analysts at Wall Street’s John S. Herold, Inc, a research-only firm (www.herold.com) that issues valuations on several hundred publicly traded energy companies, has recently estimated that most Big Oil corporations will hit peak production in 2008 (see www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/03/15/herold and www.peakoil.net).

Salon’s Robert Bryce writes that if Herold is right, “The United States will be ever more reliant on oil imported from countries filled with people who don’t like George W. Bush or his policies.”

This would mean the Bush regime’s war-mongering is only further endangering our economic future. We’re wasting hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq when we should be pouring that money into revamping our auto-industry and other areas like education that can help boost the economy here at home.

Former LAPD investigator Michael J. Ruppert has been writing about peak oil for years. In a recent column, he laid down the gauntlet in questioning a former CIA source:

“Every country in the world is betting everything it has on this one hand knowing that after 2007 or 2008, the game ends. The map of the future after that is unknowable and, to large extent, irrelevant. That’s why Rumsfeld has won the battle to control American intelligence operations and why the new National Intelligence Director John Negroponte is getting the job. Is that right?” asked Ruppert.

Without the slightest hesitation the former CIA employee answered, “Yes.” (See www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/031005_globalcorp.shtml).

Saddam Hussein was a ruthless scumbag, but he was hardly the only such dictator in power. Why aren’t we invading the others? North Korea has admitted nuclear capability — that’s a WMD. Yet we aren’t invading them. The American public needs to learn how to read between the lines of the Bush regime’s duplicitous propaganda. They’re simply trying to grab all the oil they can before production peaks out. But no matter how much we can control, it still won’t solve the long-term issues.

The Iraq invasion has hardly made us any safer from terrorism; in fact, many experts think it’s endangered us further. The most obscene aspect of all is that Uncle Sam has sent all these troops over to fight this oil war without proper protective gear. Truthout.org reported this week on Specialist E-4 Patrick Resta, who served as an Army medic in Iraq before returning home. Resta spoke last week at Brown University about what is happening in Iraq, and where the troops stand on “completing the mission.”

“One of the most important things veterans can do, like myself,” Resta said, “is come out here and present a true picture of Iraq, because the American media isn’t letting people have that true picture.” Resta described soldiers spending their own money to buy armor and traveling through hostile territory in unprotected vehicles. He further described an overwhelming belief among the troops that the time has come to get out. “There was a running joke that ‘Iraq’ stood for ‘I really am quitting,’ ” he said.

These sentiments are echoed by Michael Hoffman, who was a U.S. Marine with the 10th Regiment until the summer of 2003 and now is co-founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War. In a recent article in The Nation titled “The New Face of Protest,” Hoffman said, “Seeing the civilian casualties and the horrible things that were done and the destruction we laid on that country, it seemed pretty clear to me that we never had the Iraqis’ best interests in mind.” (See www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050328&s=houppert)

The men and women of the U.S. military should simply stage a mass revolt and refuse to go into battle. But they are unlikely to be able to organize in such a way, so the quagmire continues. The situation is such a mess now that even most staunch Democrats are forced to say that we can’t just cut and run. But an escape strategy needs to be drawn up quickly, or the occupation is likely to drag out to Vietnam-type proportions. Writer William Rivers Pitt offers a thoughtful plan to exit Iraq at: www.truthout.org/docs_2005/031405Z.shtml.

Massive protests against the war are to be staged around the planet this weekend. Here in Kent, PortagePeace.org will sponsor an anti-war rally at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the gazebo downtown at the corner of Main Street & Franklin Avenue. The rally will include speakers, music and poetry, followed by a sidewalk march through town. Whether you’ve been against the war all along or have only recently come to such a conclusion, it’s important to go out and be a part of the voice of reason. We, the people, shall overcome.

Greg Schwartz is a graduate student in journalism and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].