A secret document from the British government, reported May 1 by the Times
of London, tells us what we’ve known all along. George W. Bush was
determined to invade Iraq long before seeking any congressional approval; he
manipulated intelligence to justify his desire for war; and he was lying - to
the American people, to the United Nations, to the entire world - when he
proclaimed that his goal was Iraqi disarmament and that war could be avoided.
The document is the record of a meeting held on July 23, 2002 - eight months
before the invasion of Iraq - involving Prime Minister Tony Blair and his key
advisors. Reporting on his meeting with CIA director George Tenet, one advisor
explained: "Military action was now seen as inevitable…Bush wanted to remove
Saddam Hussein, through military action…the intelligence and facts were being
fixed around the policy."
Last week, eighty-nine members of the U.S. Congress - all Democrats - sent a
letter to George W. Bush, asking for an explanation, stating that the document
"raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war
as well as the integrity of your own administration…"
The White House has yet to comment on the congressional letter. And - let’s
be honest - why should they? The Democrats are the minority party in the House,
and the letter was signed by a minority of that minority. The letter is, in
fact, a tepid response; the eighty-nine Democrats should be sounding the call
for impeachment hearings instead.
In fact, a congressional call for impeachment is long overdue.
It should come as no surprise to any informed American citizen that George W.
Bush had his sites set on Iraq from day one. From the beginning of his
administration, he had every intention of deposing Saddam Hussein and acquiring
that country’s oil fields. All he needed was an opportunity.
September 11, 2001 gave him that opportunity.
Bush & Co. feverishly tried to tie Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks and
desperately insisted that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States.
After inspectors and commissions declared there was no link between Saddam and
al-Queda, after they disproved the assertions of WMD stockpiles - well, it was
simply too late. The war was over; the violent occupation was under way.
And what are the results of Mr. Bush’s lies?
As of this writing, the death toll for American military personnel in Iraq is
1,615. For most Americans, that seems to be an acceptable number of losses.
A recent estimate put the war-related death toll among Iraqi civilians at
between 18,000 and 29,000. For most Americans - well, there doesn’t seem to be
much concern in this country for dead Iraqis. (Consider, for a moment, the
extent of that global and cultural insensitivity. After all, we’re talking about
- minimally - a death toll six times that of the 9/11 attacks.)
Even if one discounts the human misery Mr. Bush’s war has engendered, one
cannot ignore the impact on our national security.
"The U.S. Army expects to keep its troop strength in Iraq at the current
level of about 120,000 for at least two more years, according to the Army’s top
operations officer." (Washington Post, 1/25/05).
"The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has issued a report to Congress
that said the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan could hamstring the U.S. ability
to fight other wars…the report concludes that future armed conflicts could last
longer and produce higher casualties." (CNN, 5/3/05).
"The U.S. Army, stung by recruiting shortfalls caused by the Iraq war, has
raised the maximum age for new recruits for the part-time Army Reserve and
National Guard by five years to 39…Recruiters say the Iraq war is making
military service a harder sell…" (Reuters, 3/22/05)
Mr. Bush waged an illegal war built on proven lies; he has created a
humanitarian crisis and severely diminished this country’s ability to defend
Clearly, this House and this Senate will not remove the Bush administration
from power. Therefore, the only solution is in the 2006 mid-term elections.
America is in desperate need of principled men and women who will put an end to
Ultimately, it falls into the hands of the American public.
It doesn’t look like George W. Bush has much to worry about.