The Attack on Iraq Was Planned Before the 2000 Elections, Saddam Didn’t Expel the UN Weapons Inspectors
September 26, 2002

The Attack on Iraq Was Planned Before the 2000 Elections

The September 20 headlines on America’s newspapers brought word that George W. Bush had dangerously rewired the country’s National Security Strategy (NSS) to call for a US policy of pre-emptive military intervention (the euphemism for “armed aggression”) anywhere in the world that Bush felt America’s interests were at stake.

Some political pundits called it a radical departure from Bush’s earlier speeches in which he spoke of a “humble America” that was interested in hearing the voices of other nations. Many commentators claimed that the new “hard line” was a response to September 11. Both claims were wrong.

The European community already knew that the Bushhawks were hell-bent on a long-planned campaign to rule the world. If there were any doubts, they were dispelled on September 15 when The Sunday Herald (Scotland) revealed the existence of a document called Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century.

The report was completed in September 2000 and co-authored by Dick Cheney (now vice-president), Donald Rumsfeld (now Defense Secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (now Rumsfeld’s Deputy) and Lewis Libby (now Cheney’s chief-of-staff). One of the authors was named Bush, but it wasn’t George; it was brother Jeb, the governor of the state whose flawed election process helped propel George into the White House via the Supreme Court.

The Herald called the document “A secret blueprint for US global domination [that] reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure ‘regime change’ even before he took power in January 2001.”

Rebuilding America’s Defenses (RAD) was produced by the Project for the New American Century, a neo-conservative think tank. RAD details the Bush administration’s plan to seize strategic control of Iraq as part of a wider campaign to impose a global “Pax Americana.”

RAD states: “The US has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

As RAD notes, “even should Saddam pass from the scene,” US bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would remain permanently occupied since “Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has.”

RAD spells out Bush’s imperial goal — it is nothing less than a “blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests.”

This “American grand strategy” is to be promoted “as far into the future as possible.” And to do this, the report states, one of the country’s “core missions” must be to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars.” This intellectual throwback to the mind-set of 19th century “Manifest Destiny” imperialism comes full circle when US troops are addressed as “the cavalry on the new American frontier.”

A precursor paper penned by Wolfowitz and Libby argued that the US must “discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”

RAD expresses concern that Europe might become a rival to the US and proposes the need for a “regime change” in China backed by “American and allied power.” The threat from nations like Libya, Syria, Iran and North Korea would justify the establishment of a “worldwide command-and-control system.”

RAD endorses the creation of a “US Space Forces” to dominate the world from space. Total control of cyberspace also is planned to prevent Washington’s “enemies” from using the Internet to thwart US interests.

Although the US has complained about chemical and biological weapons falling into the hands of Saddam Hussein, RAD expresses enthusiasm for these weapons of mass destruction. “New methods of attack — electronic, ‘non-lethal’, biological — will be more widely available,” RAD proclaims, and “combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes… advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”

When the details of Cheney’s masterplan for world domination hit the front pages in Britain, Labour MP Tam Dalyell gave voice to the widespread shock and outrage of his colleagues when he spoke to the British press:

“This is garbage from right-wing think-tanks stuffed with chicken-hawks — men who have never seen the horror of war but are in love with the idea of war. Men like Cheney, who were draft-dodgers in the Vietnam War.

“This is a blueprint for US world domination — a New World Order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world. I am appalled that a British Labour Prime Minister should have got into bed with a crew which has this moral standing.”

Saddam Didn’t Expel the UN Weapons Inspectors

United Nations weapons inspectors return from the site of a destroyed Iraqi weapons warehouse. The first UNSCOM weapons eradication program lasted seven years, until the US torpedoed the program in 1998.
Photo: United Nations
Members of the UN weapons inspection team (UNSCOM) didn’t have an easy time of it, trying to ferret out Iraq’s weapons stockpiles, but they were incredibly effective, as former UNSCOM member Scott Ritter has testified [See “The Coming War in Iraq,” Hoots & Hollers, August 9, 2002 on The-Edge.].

One point of friction was Iraq’s complaint that the UN’s inspection teams had been taken over by American military personnel and that US intelligence agents were using the inspections as a cover for spying purposes.

On January 6, 1999, UN Secretary General Kofi Anna confirmed that US intelligence agencies had, in fact, infiltrated the inspection team and had secretly installed spy equipment. The Washington Post subsequently reported on January 8, 1999 how “United Nations arms inspectors helped collect eavesdropping intelligence used in American efforts to undermine the Iraqi regime.”

Thousands of weapons, including 500-pound chemical weapon bombs, were discovered by UNSCOM and destroyed -- in this case by bulldozer.
Photo: United Nations
It is widely believed that Saddam Hussein ordered UNSCOM inspectors out of Iraq and that this precipitated the US bombing campaign. This representation is not only false, but its promotion by the mainstream corporate media has become so monolithic that in becomes difficult not to invoke the word “disinformation.”

As Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR,] notes, “Not only did Saddam Hussein not order the inspectors’ retreat, but [UNSCOM’s Richard] Butler’s decision to withdraw them was — to say the least — highly controversial.”

Butler submitted a report to President Clinton on December 16, 1998 that complained about Iraq’s compliance with inspections. The Washington Post revealed (12/17/98) that Butler’s report had been prepared in secret consultation with US officials. French, Russian, Chinese and UN officials protested that Butler’s report was a contrived “justification for war.” As one diplomat told the Post, “Based on the same facts, [Butler] could have just said, ‘There were something like 300 inspections and we encountered difficulties in five.’”

Butler knew that the US was already preparing an attack on Baghdad. As Post correspondent Barton Gellman reported: “Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad, in anticipation of a military attack.” USA Today reported (12/17/98) that “Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov criticized Butler for evacuating inspectors from Iraq Wednesday morning without seeking permission from the Security Council.”

At the time, the Post correctly reported that it was Butler’s decision to flee Iraq. Since those first reports, however, the US media has engaged in what FAIR calls an attempt “to rewrite history.”

Despite letters of protest, this falsehood has been repeated endlessly by the Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Washington Times, Newsweek, USA Today, NBC News and the AP. The New York Times printed a correction on February 2, 2000 but the fabrication has now become an indispensible “Urban Legend” for Washington’s warmongers.

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