PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

September 29, 2007

War-mongers in the White House

Filed under: 1Stop War,HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 9:33 pm

I remember President Bush’s rush to war in Iraq: While proclaiming that war was the “last resort,” the President was clearly impatient. UN sanctions were actually working well. According to the Wikipedia,

The United Nations located and destroyed large quantities of Iraqi WMD throughout the 1990s in spite of persistent Iraqi obstruction. Washington withdrew weapons inspectors in 1998, resulting in Operation Desert Fox, which further degraded Iraq’s WMD capability. . . .While various leftover weapons components from the 1980s and 1990s have also been found, most weapons inspectors do not now believe that the WMD program proceeded after 2002,[1] though various theories continue to be put forward. . . . In late 2002 Saddam Hussein, in a letter to Hans Blix, invited UN weapons inspectors back into the country. Subsequently the Security Council issued Resolution 1441 authorizing new inspections in Iraq. The carefully-worded U.N. resolution put the burden on Iraq, not U.N. inspectors, to prove that they no longer had weapons of mass destruction. . . .In January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program. . . .On March 7, 2003, Hans Blix’s last report to the UN security Council prior to the US led invasion of Iraq, described Iraq as actively and proactively cooperating with UNMOVIC, though not necessarily in all areas of relevance and had been frequently uncooperative in the past, but that it was within months of resolving key remaining disarmament tasks.[50]

But this was not good enough for Bush and Cheney, who clearly chose to believe the old intelligence reports, and other “worst case” assessments, and to disbelieve the UN reports. Or maybe they just lied. It was clear to me at the time that, shortly after the war on the Taliban in Afghanistan, and despite assurances that war was a “last resort,” Bush wanted to invade Iraq. His body language was clearer than his words.

Now, more than 4 years later, Bush and Cheney have discovered that their two wars have strengthened the common neighbor of Afghanistan and Iraq: Iran, charter member of Bush’s Axis of Evil. Evidence is accumulating that Cheney, at least, is lusting for another war. Glenn Greenwald (The U.S. military’s role in preventing the bombing of Iran), reported that

Neoconservative extremists want endless war, and they are supported by the most powerful faction in our government, led by Dick Cheney, who has prevailed in every significant conflict over the last six years. And their radicalism has eroded not only the standing and strength of the United States as a country, but is close to shattering our military forces as well. Even with Iraq draining away all of our resources, they are eager, hungry and increasingly impatient for a new war with the much more formidable Iranians.

They crave regime change in Iran, and, sitting safe and protected in the U.S., they do not care at all what the aftermath is, certainly not for the 160,000 American troops sitting in Iraq. There has been a long-simmering conflict of interests between the war-crazy neocons and the U.S. military — evidenced, by among other things, the intense hostility of Gen. Franks towards Douglas Feith. Eventually, as neocons push their war agenda further and further, that conflict will inevitably grow, since the neocons’ ideological obsessions comes at the expense of the military, which serves as pure cannon fodder for their goals. It is the American military that pays the real price for the neocon’s pursuit of their endless war agenda.

What is most striking about all of this is that even after all of this time, even after it has become more or less conventional wisdom that the Iraq War is an unparalleled disaster, no real political checks on their extremism exist. The Cheney-led neoconservatives are still the most powerful force, by far, in the American government.

And yet, Congress seems to lack the will even to withhold funding for their mad schemes. In fact, as Greenwald wrote,

after the events of the last few months, nothing is unthinkable when it comes to acts of accommodation by this Congress. And the fact that they lined up so passively, really so willingly this week to vote for the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment (with more Democrats in favor than against and only two GOP “no” votes) — even in the face of Jim Webb’s strident warnings that categorizing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp as “a foreign terrorist organization” could “be read as tantamount to a declaration of war” — makes clear that not only would Congress never actively stop a military strike against Iran if the administration wanted that, it is highly likely that they would affirmatively vote to authorize it. Given their behavior on Iran this week, just fathom how much more in line they would be in the midst of a massive right-wing-noise-machine P.R. campaign and media frenzy over the need to march to war with Iran.

Greenwald concludes,

The central lesson of this presidency has been that Bush does not accept limits of any kind on his decision-making powers — whether such limits are grounded in the law or in the basic constraints of reality.

Unfortunately, things are even worse than Greenwald says, if Walter Madsen is correct. I wrote on September 10 asking about the news story about the B-52 bomber loaded with armed nukes that went from North Dakota to Barksdale, apparently ready to go to the Middle East, in a highly irregular event that set off alarm bells. I speculated that the Vice President may have been involved. On September 23rd, Madsen drew together several reports that strike an even greater alarm, in a report to his subscribers with the title “Air Force refused to fly weapons to Middle East theater.” He wrote, in part (emphasis added),

WMR has learned from U.S. and foreign intelligence sources that the B-52
transporting six stealth AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles, each armed with a W-80-1 nuclear warhead, on August 30, were destined for the Middle East via Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. . . .

The Washington Post story on BENT SPEAR may have actually been an effort in damage control by the Bush administration. WMR has been informed by a
knowledgeable source that one of the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles was, and may still be, unaccounted for. In that case, the nuclear reporting incident would have gone far beyond BENT SPEAR to a National Command Authority alert known as EMPTY QUIVER, with the special classification of PINNACLE. . . .

WMR has learned that a U.S. attack on Iran using nuclear and conventional
weapons was scheduled to coincide with Israel’s September 6 air attack on a
reputed Syrian nuclear facility in Dayr az-Zwar, near the village of Tal
Abyad, in northern Syria, near the Turkish border. Israel’s attack, code
named OPERATION ORCHARD, was to provide a reason for the U.S. to strike
Iran. . . .

WMR has learned from military sources on both sides of the Atlantic that
there was a definite connection between Israel’s OPERATION ORCHARD and
BENT SPEAR involving the B-52 that flew the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale. There is also a connection between these two events as the Pentagon’s highly-classified PROJECT CHECKMATE, a compartmented U.S. Air Force program that has been working on an attack plan for Iran since June 2007, around the same time that Cheney was working on the joint Israeli-U.S. attack scenario on Iran.

PROJECT CHECKMATE was leaked in an article by military analyst Eric Margolis in the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, the /Times of London/, is a program that involves over two dozen Air Force officers and is headed by Brig. Gen. Lawrence Stutzriem and his chief civilian adviser, Dr. Lani Kass, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who, astoundingly, is now involved in planning a joint U.S.-Israeli massive military attack on Iran that involves
a “decapitating” blow on Iran by hitting between three to four thousand
targets in the country. Stutzriem and Kass report directly to the Air Force
Chief of Staff, General Michael Moseley, who has also been charged with
preparing a report on the B-52/nuclear weapons incident. . . .

British intelligence sources have reported that the Israeli attack on Syria was a “true flag” attack originally designed to foreshadow a U.S. attack on Iran. After the U.S. Air Force push back against transporting the six cruise nuclear-armed AGM-129s to the Middle East, Israel went ahead with its attack on Syria in order to help ratchet up tensions between Washington on one side and Damascus, Tehran, and Pyongyang on the other. . . .

Command and control breakdowns involving U.S. nuclear weapons are unprecedented, except for that fact that the U.S. military is now waging an internal war against neo-cons who are embedded in the U.S. government and military chain of command who are intent on using nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive war with Iran.

CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD would have provided the cover for a pre-emptive U.S. and Israeli attack on Iran had it not been for BENT SPEAR
involving the B-52. In on the plan to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran
involving nuclear weapons were, according to our sources, Cheney, National
Security Adviser Stephen Hadley; members of the CHECKMATE team at the
Pentagon, who have close connections to Israeli intelligence and pro-Israeli
think tanks in Washington, including the Hudson Institute; British Foreign
Secretary David Miliband, a political adviser to Tony Blair prior to
becoming a Member of Parliament; Israeli political leaders like Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert and Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu; and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who did his part last week to ratchet up tensions with Iran by suggesting that war with Iran was a probability. Kouchner retracted his statement after the U.S. plans for Iran were delayed. . . .

This Madsen report confirms my worst fears about VP Cheney’s involvement. What I have quoted here is only part of the report. It is stunning.

Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie is Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, so these nefarious activities fall directly within his sphere of responsibility. I was told that he was looking into the incident of the B-52 with nukes. Greenwald and Madsen make it clear that there is a lot more involved. I hope that Rep. Abercrombie is looking into these matters as well.

Given the record of Congress thus far in finding an end to the war (NOT!), and Rep. Abercrombie’s apparent inability to make any headway on his number one professed priority of “trying to find an end to the tragic war in Iraq and protecting the lives of our young men and women who’ve been sent their to fight,” I submit that the only way, not only to end this tragic war, but also to prevent more and wider war, is to remove these war-mongers from office.

By conservative Republican Bruce Fein’s count, Vice President Cheney has already committed at least 8 acts meriting impeachment. Congressman Dennis Kucinich has offered a resolution to impeach the Vice President, H. Res. 333, which already has 19 co-sponsors, including the leaders of the Progressive Caucus. Recently, Rep. Kucinich, alarmed by the saber-rattling with Iran and perhaps aware of the evidence summarized above, is said to be considering a maneuver to force a vote on his resolution (Kucinich ‘seriously thinking’ about forcing vote on Cheney impeachment, by Nick Juliano, published: Friday September 28, 2007). I asked Rep. Abercrombie to consider supporting Kucinich and becoming a co-sponsor of this Resolution, but so far, it seems that my pleading has fallen on deaf ears.

Bruce Fein’s 8 reasons for impeaching VP Cheney, and even more reasons for impeaching the Vice President, with supporting documentation, can be found at http://priming-the-pump.wikispaces.com/ among other places. Impeachment may do more to help bring an end to this war, and preventing an even wider war, than anything else Congress can do.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress