War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know
NY, NY: 2002, 95pp.
by William Rivers Pitt with Scott Ritter George
reviewed by MC5, January 30 2003
Bush's "State of the Union" address January 28th and subsequent war-mongering on dutiful CNN and other media outlets may have had some effect on public opinion. It appears that the public is not used to hearing George Bush attempt to argue facts of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and many have momentarily given him the benefit of the doubt now that he has mentioned some concrete details.
However, the points being addressed by Bush and the media lapdogs have all arisen before. On points of politics and history, Bush claims to want Hussein out for using chemical weapons in the past, but Reagan and Bush Sr. gave Saddam Hussein aid and took him off the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, precisely when he used chemical weapons against his internal enemies and Iran.(p. 20)
Marine Scott Ritter's book also anticipated all the detailed questions on weapons coming up right now. On points of weapons of mass destruction, for example, using what is for it an unusual pop-up ad on its website on January 30, the New York Times raised questions concerning anthrax, botulinum toxin, sarin, mustard gas and VX nerve agent.
The New York Times has failed to provide any context while mentioning these horrible weapons:
*Ritter says there was VX nerve agent, but it
would have degraded by now if Hussein had hidden
it. He would need a new factory and he does not
have it.(pp. 36-7)
*Regarding biological weapons, if the united $tates were so concerned it would not have supported Richard Butler and Dick Spertzel in their refusal to conduct biological weapons inspections because of fear they would prove Iraq right.(p. 43)
*Iraq has anthrax somewhere as Bush mentioned in his "State of the Union" speech, but it is useless.(p. 42) Bush was disingenuous when saying that the anthrax could kill millions of people. Not accounting for it does not change the fact that it cannot be effective anymore. Most of his details in the speech refer to things from the UN inspections up to 1998, things already addressed by Ritter.
The New York Times also talks about some aluminum tubes and attempted uranium purchases by Iraq, but Ritter points out that a real nuclear weapons program is not a matter of some aluminum and uranium. It takes tens of billions of dollars and Ritter says the process emits substances detectable by Big Brother--U.$. spy technologies. Talking about how "high intelligence" in England supposedly caught someone trying to buy uranium makes great theater, but it is dishonest when that same "high intelligence" knows that more goes into making a nuclear bomb. What the New York Times leaves out is discussion of whether or not Ritter is correct that the Uncle $am would have to know if Iraq were producing nuclear weapons.
The New York Times is also not talking about the context for why no one believes there is an Iraq and Al-Qaeda connection. No where does it mention that Iraq's laws call for a death sentence for proselytizing for Bin Laden's religion.(p. 49) The failure to at least mention the facts suggesting the unlikely nature of an Al-Qaeda/Iraq connection proves the "biased" nature of most of the mainstream media ready to put forward sensational connections between people who have sworn to kill each other in the past.
It's a measure of the fear-mongering times that conservative Republican Scott Ritter who voted for Bush in 2000 has been called a "traitor" in what is a conflict between conservatives and neo- conservatives. Ritter believes that politically the u.$. imperialists should stick with the old formula of allying with monarchies in the Arab oil-producing countries and that throwing out Hussein and really allowing democracy would make Iran too powerful, because the majority of Iraqi people unlike Saddam Hussein, come from the same religious group as Iran. Neo-conservatives talk about occupations and revolution in the Middle East and they have the upper hand in the form of Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz.(p. 66)
MIM does not put forward the line that weapons proliferation is impossible in Iraq. Quite the contrary, we hold that capitalism makes weapons proliferation a global inevitability. Ritter, Bush, Cheney--despite their intra-ruling class fight--all have what we could call the "Sum of All Fears" paradigm, to mention a movie that the public may be more familiar than the politics involved behind the Iraq War. An example would be Ritter's statement: "The manufacture of chemical weapons emits vented gases that would have been detected by now if they existed. We've been watching, via satellite and other means, and have seen none of this. If Iraq was producing weapons today, we'd have definitive proof, plain and simple." (p. 37) For these rulers, it's a matter of tracking individual weapons and plants, the same way a department store has video cameras to watch shoplifters.
All of this makes interesting reading. For example, Ritter explains how Butler designed some inspections to have no value other than provoking the Iraqis so that the united $tates would have an excuse to bomb Iraq in 1998.
Ritter ends the book saying he puts U.S. interests first and not sympathy for the Iraqi people. Yet, he should know that the world is now too small for there to be a meaningful difference between Iraqi and U.S. people when it comes to weapons proliferation and war. As he said himself, "if either the United States or Israel were to use a nuke against Iraq, I guarantee within ten years the United States would be struck by a terrorist nuclear bomb."(p. 65) Ritter says Iraq, Iran and Pakistan will cooperate with terrorists and give them nukes if the United $tates pushes too hard. That is exactly the sort of reason among many others like it that world citizens need to arise-- proletarian internationalists. Nations trying to exist at the expense of other nations will inevitably produce the final extermination of the species.
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