President George W Bush declared his six-week war against Iraq was over on May 1, 2003. That was eight months ago and US Occupation forces are still under daily attacks from insurgent Iraqis of many descriptions, Sunis, Shites, "Saddam Loyalists", Arab terrorists, and just plain angry men who oppose foreign soldiers breaking down doors, arresting, humiliating, maiming and killing innocent people. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other administration officials are labelling the resisters "Dead Enders" .
International scrutiny of US Occupation attempts to sell off rights to Iraqi oil and other resources to US corporations appears to have curbed that ambition somewhat. Saddam has been captured and will be tried, but the Iraqis want to do that themselves .- Most want to set up their own government and run their country without US involvement. If our shelling out $20 billion (so far) to rebuild the infrastructure isn't co-opting the people and their decision makers into doing what we want, it is hard to see why we are there - almost as hard as it is to understand why we went to war in the first place.
Just this week (1/13/04), Bush's former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neil revealed the President and his advisors were actively engaged in planning the invasion of Iraq immediately after taking office in January, 2001, nine months before the 9/11/2001 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0113-01.htm It has long been speculated that George W. Bush had wanted to finish what his father had failed to accomplish, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and that the 9/11 terrorism gave him the pretext. There may even have been a feeling among the family and friends that letting Saddam continue in power was a factor in the elder Bush's defeat in 1992.
The head of the UN weapons inspection team for Iraq (UNMOVIC), Dr. Hans Blix, says he believes there are no WMD in Iraq and that there had been none for a long time before the US invaded. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3323633.stm David Kay, appointed by President Bush as head of the US 1700-man team searching for WMD has announced his mission is over and he is resigning with no WMD found and no active WMD development programs discovered. http://news.independent.co.uk/low_res/story.jsp?story=474598&host=3&dir=75 Strong evidence has been found that Iraq destroyed its WMD precursor agents in 1991. This evidence has been in the hands of US intelligence agencies for over ten years and was known by the Bush White House and Pentagon.
The New York Times, a strong supporter of the war in Iraq, now concludes there are no WMD or development programs in Iraq and that Iraq presented no significant short-term threat to the US or peace in the region. The paper recommends independent investigation into whether the Bush Regime tampered with the facts. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/11/opinion/11SUN1.html
Just this past week, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace experts harshly condemned the Bush administration for deliberate exaggerations of the threats posed by Iraq .http://www.ceip.org/files/Publications/IraqSummary.asp?from=pubdate They argue that the intelligence community gave highly qualified assessments of the threat up until mid-2002. About that time, Vice President Dick Cheney began making regular visits to CIA headquarters and to the Pentagon Intelligence HQ. and official statements and estimates suddenly became increasingly alarmist. The Carnegie analysts accuse the Bush administration of putting intense pressure on intelligence experts to conform, of minimizing the existence of dissenting views, and of routinely dropping caveats and uncertainties in painting a worst-case picture.
Barton Gellman, writing for the Washington Post (Jan 7, 2004) says, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60340-2004Jan6.html
investigators have found no support for the two main fears expressed in London and Washington before the war: that Iraq had a hidden arsenal of old weapons and built advanced programs for new ones. In public statements and unauthorized interviews, investigators said they have discovered no work on former germ-warfare agents such as anthrax bacteria, and no work on a new designer pathogen -- combining pox virus and snake venom -- that led U.S. scientists on a highly classified hunt for several months. The investigators assess that Iraq did not, as charged in London and Washington, resume production of its most lethal nerve agent, VX, or learn to make it last longer in storage. And they have found the former nuclear weapons program, described as a "grave and gathering danger" by President Bush and a "mortal threat" by Vice President Cheney, in much the same shattered state left by U.N. inspectors in the 1990s.
Still, there are some Dead Enders hanging on to their blessed certainty that WMD are there and will be found. Among these is, of course, the Dead Ender-in-Chief, Dubya Bush, and also Sec. Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Sec. State Colin Powell, and Nat'l Security Advisor Condy Rice. Joining this unimpressive group of losers is the Editor of the Portland Oregonian.
The local Dead Ender paper has yet to acknowledge its mistake or to retract its unequivocal statement of March 20, 2003, the day after the War on Iraq began, that WMD will "inevitably" be found , and that this constitutes a strong case for going to war. http://www.quixote-quest.org/resources/national_international/WMD_Iraq_missing_092903.html
It looks as if there will have to be a "Truth and Reconciliation" process before the Oregonian will own up to its foolish rush to support the Bush administration's unprecedented, unprovoked, aggressive war.