February 10, 2003
Mirakove Relay: Issue #1: On Iraq

[First of a series of email newsletters that poet Carol Mirakove has started circulating and which will be appearing regularly on this site. Great links to substantial articles and essays. There is an email address at the end of the article to which you can send subscription requests.]

SHOULD WE BELIEVE THE EVIDENCE AGAINST IRAQ?

Well, we -know- the US government greatly exaggerated the facts and doctored photos in 1991 in order to justify the Gulf War. Here's only one of many citations: "Purchased by ABC from the Soviet commercial satellite agency Soyez-Karta, the photos were expected to reveal the presence of a massive Iraqi troop deployment in Kuwait, but failed to disclose anything near the number of troops claimed by the Bush administration. ABC declined to use them.." "Two satellite experts who had formerly worked for the U.S. government failed to find evidence of the alleged buildup." www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/papers/gulfwar1.htm


The Guardian published on Fri, Feb 7, that the UK war dossier (you know, the one that's supposedly based on secret intelligence about the current state of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction) was plagiarized from documents that are more than a decade old. "Apart from passing this off as the work of its intelligence services," Dr Rangwala said, "it indicates that the UK really does not have any independent sources of information on Iraq's internal policies. It just draws upon publicly available data." www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,890916,00.html

As for Colin Powell's presentation at the UN, none of the information can be substantiated. Who are "their sources"? Other questions that Colin Powell really needs to be answering are here: www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=21&ItemID=2993

Of course, the US government has a long history of this kind of lying. In 1964, President Johnson tricked Congress into okaying the Vietnam War by claiming the North Vietnamese has attacked a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. As he was well aware, the event never happened -- but that didn't stop him from launching a war that claimed the lives of 57,000 American soldiers and millions of Vietnamese civilians. Are we ready for another one of -those-? www.counterpunch.org/tristam1016.html http://www.fair.org/media-beat/940727.html

EVEN IF THE EVIDENCE IS CREDIBLE, IS WAR NECESSARY?

Despite that this large-scale attack casts us into serious peril, our government officials and our major media channels are telling us that it is necessary. Does it make sense to you that Saddam Hussein -- under UN watch -- is a bigger threat to us than the threat of retaliation? From CNN, "Rumsfeld said: "We are sending very clear messages to people around him that they would be well-advised not to use those weapons. In the event, they do, they would wish they hadn't." Rumsfeld was answering a question that referred to President Bush's statement that Saddam has authorized field commanders to use chemical weapons." www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/02/07/sprj.irq.rumsfeld.europe/index.htm l

So question one is, why are our officials answering questions about cremating U.S. soldiers who are killed in chemical warfare (in order to get their bodies home for a memorial) rather than answering questions about how to prevent U.S. soldiers from meeting such a fate? Furthermore, what kind of leverage does Rumsfeld imagine he has over Iraq? The U.S. government is openly planning to flatten the nation at the onset, with hundreds of cruise missiles. What would Iraq have to lose in unleashing chemical warfare, on their own land, or on ours? And then, if the U.S. does go ahead and demolish Iraq, retaliation won't be coming from that country alone (do you think the rest of the middle east [and other oil-rich nations] will sit around and wait to be similarly invaded?). Ok -- per the Belfer Center at Harvard's JFK School of Government, Saddam can be contained: bcsia.ksg.harvard.edu/publication.cfm?program=CORE&ctype=paper&item_i d=361


U.S. SOLDIERS MADE TO BURY IRAQIS ALIVE IN GULF WAR

Do we want more U.S. soldiers to experience this brutality (not to mention their victims!)? Patrick J. Sloyan, Newsday reporter, broke the story on Sept 12, 1991, that U.S. soldiers were made to bulldoze Iraqi soldiers alive. Timothy McVeigh was among those who received this order. Sloyan's summary of Gulf War bulldozing is here: digitaljournalist.org/issue0211/sloyan.html
From the National Catholic Register, a Gulf War Veteran recounts: "I had to give the order, order men who drove the earth-movers to just cover up the trenches. To bury those poor bastards alive." www.ncregister.com/Register_News/120802war.htm

From Charles Sheehan-Miles, Gulf War Veteran: "The first Gulf War wasn't clean, it wasn't pretty, and it wasn't precise. In the chaos and destruction of battle, anything can happen. We killed a lot of people." www.veteransforcommonsense.org/

FBI, CIA SAY THERE IS NO CONNECTION BETWEEN HUSSEIN AND AL-QAEDA

This has been looked at, continuously, by U.S. intelligence since Sept 11, 2001. "Why the CIA thinks Bush is wrong": www.sundayherald.com/print28384. "No one's got proof": www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/08/26/time.iraq/. But media distortion leads to phenomena such as this: 1,200 US citizens were asked, "To the best of your knowledge, how many of the September 11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens?" Of those surveyed, only 17 percent knew the correct answer: that none of the hijackers were Iraqi. 44 percent of USAmericans believe that most or some of the hijackers were Iraqi; another 6 percent believe that one of the hijackers was a citizen of that most notorious node in the axis of evil. That leaves 33 percent who did not know enough to offer an answer. www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2003/02/06/iraq_poll/


IT IS ABOUT OIL

The U.S. has been long-planning to control and re-map the Middle East. From the Institute for National Defense Strategic Studies: "The overriding American concern was preserving access to Gulf oil at reasonable prices and keeping the region secure from threat or invasion." www.ndu.edu/inss/press/Spelreprts/SR_03.htm

Robert Jensen explains, "No one suggests the United States seeks to permanently take direct possession of Iraqi oil. Instead, policymakers are interested in control over the flow of oil and oil profits.." "U.S. control over Iraq through a compliant regime -- beholden for its very existence to the United States -- dramatically increases U.S. control over oil, and therefore over the world economy." www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=2970

Oh yeah!, and then there's the one about George Bush, Senior, and the Bin Laden family sitting together on the board of the Carlyle group: "Carlyle's investors include the Bin Laden family, which has disowned its terrorist son Osama; Bush Sr.; and former Bush inner guard members Nick Carlucci and James Baker. Judicial Watch says all involved stand to benefit from any increase in U.S. defense spending." www.villagevoice.com/issues/0141/gray.php

IRAQIS WANT THE U.S. TO LEAVE THEM ALONE

The NYC-based artist Paul Chan was in Baghdad from Dec 14-Jan 14 with members of the Iraq Peace Team (www.iraqpeaceteam.org/). They broke sanctions, bringing medicine, toys, and art supplies to the people of Iraq. The people of Iraq -like- us; they hate Bush (Senior and Junior). They want the U.S. to leave them alone. In insisting that the Iraqi people experience the same freedoms that we experience, Paul says the U.S. would be delivering liberty and death in a single blow. Please go to Paul's site and experience wonderful images of people living in Baghdad today: www.nationalphilistine.com/

1.2 MILLION IRAQIS HAVE BEEN KILLED SINCE 1992 We don't want any more blood on our hands: U.S. and UK-led, UN sanctions against Iraq have claimed an estimated 1.2 million Iraqi lives. UNICEF estimates that the total number of casualties includes more than 600,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5, with 4,500 dying each month. www.doctorsworldwide.org/projects/iraq.htm

MESSAGE FROM THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM: "IF YOU DOUBT THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS, THINK BACK TO SEPTEMBER 11, 2001"

The U.S. is not listening to the UN, it is not listening to the world in protest. If we keep pissing people off & stomping around like a big bully, we are -more- likely to suffer attacks on our landmarks, our homes, our families, our selves. Furthermore, those attacks will be used to justify deeper cuts to our body of civil liberties by our own government. We need to pay attention to, and participate in, our political processes. Robert Jensen recently wrote, "If you doubt the importance of this, think back to September 11, 2001. On that day, we got a glimpse of what it will look like if the empire is dismantled from the outside, if the empire continues to ignore the world. But we have a choice. We, the first citizens of the empire, can commit to dismantling the empire from within, peacefully and non-violently, in solidarity with those around the world struggling for justice." www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=1&ItemID=2950

GOOD NEWS: THE UN MAY BE ABLE TO BLOCK THE ATTACKS

"In 1950, the Security Council set up a procedure for insuring that stalemates between countries would not prevent the United Nations from carrying out its mission to "maintain international peace and security." With the United States playing an important role in its adoption, the Council adopted Resolution 377, the aptly named "Uniting for Peace" in an almost unanimous vote." See the Center for Constitutional Rights website: www.ccr-ny.org

SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS

Thank you for reading through. I know it's hard and painful and depressing. But, you know, people around the country -- around the world -- are getting together, and that's a good thing.

Send subscription requests to mirakove_relay@yahoo.com.

Posted by Brian Stefans at February 10, 2003 10:42 AM
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