"It may not have been an
official declaration of war, but it was getting very
close to it." - CNN's Wolf Blitzer after listening
to George W. Bush's State of the Union address on Jan.
Jan. 30, 2003, 1900 PST (FTW)
will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our
country, our friends, and our allies. The United States
will ask the UN Security Council to convene on February
5th to consider the facts of Iraq's ongoing
defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will
present information and intelligence about Iraq's illegal
weapons programs; its attempts to hide those weapons
from inspectors; and its links to terrorist groups.
We will consult, but let there be no misunderstanding:
If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety
of our people, and for the peace of the world, we will
lead a coalition to disarm him." With
these words George W. Bush made it clear that the United
States had committed to a plan of action and that the
best efforts of nations and individuals to prevent
an imperialist invasion for oil have had little effect.
It remains to be seen whether
Senator Ted Kennedy's announced effort to have Congress
compel the administration to return for another vote
before invading will bear fruit. Of course, if the Administration
refuses, it will be one more brick in the slowly building
wall that will soon hit most Americans, the ones still
in denial; the one with the word "Fascist" written all
over it. I found it odd that in describing the evils
of the twentieth century Bush was able to say "communism" and "militarism" but
he could not say the word "fascism". Instead he called
it "Hitlerism." Italian dictator Benito Mussolini once
said, "Fascism should more properly becalled corporatism, since it is the merger of state
and corporate power." I think Bush's Freudian choice
of words was a message that Hitler screwed it up but
that he's going to get it right.
And still history has a way
of forcing tyrants into making self-defeating mistakes.
The Associated Press reported on January 24th, in a story little noticed by mainstream American
press, that the Japanese government had urged all Japanese
citizens to leave Iraq as soon as possible. Japan has
large numbers of its nationals working in Iraq in various
trade and oil-related business ventures. According
to a second report the same day on CNN Headline
News the Japanese advisory was specific that all Japanese
citizens should be out of the country by next Wednesday
at the latest.
The Japanese alert was followed
by a simultaneous advisory from the U.S. State Department
issuing a worldwide alert to all Americans traveling
overseas. According to another AP story, State Department officials tried to downplay
the significance of the warning, "but officials were
unable to say when the last such advisory had been issued." A
worldwide alert for U.S. citizens is extremely rare and
suggests that the administration is concerned about a
global backlash against Americans traveling overseas.
Cautionary advisories are normally isolated to specific
countries or geographic regions.
We have been given a date:
February 5th. And while the missiles may not
launch on that day, the bombs may not drop, and the tanks
may not roll; the Empire has made its position clear.
This war is "Good to go".
The invasion of Iraq will
most likely commence with a massive aerial campaign in
which the U.N. and many military analysts have predicted
widespread collateral damage with heavy civilian casualties.
One recent UN estimate suggested that the total Iraqi
casualty count for the entire operation could exceed
This decision should not be
taken as a surprise. In recent weeks support for the
obvious U.S. intentions, both worldwide and at home,
has been declining rapidly. At the time this story was
written, a contemporaneous CNN poll
showed that 62% of those responding believed that the
United States should not attack Iraq without UN approval.
Politically, the Bush administration has seen that this
situation is not going to improve. Every delay in an
attack to which the administration has already committed
not only risks greater military, political and economic
opposition but also increases the risk that U.S. ground
forces will be engaged in desert fighting in hot summer
weather. Recent moves by both the French and Russian
governments to approve new trade and development agreements
with the Hussein government might also weaken U.S. economic
control in a post-Saddam regime.
With crude oil prices at two-year
highs and with U.S. oil reserves at 27-year lows the
signs of a crumbling U.S. economy made themselves felt
again this week with a more than 200 point drop in the
Dow Jones Industrial average. The Bush administration
has apparently decided to roll the dice now in a go-for-broke
imperial conquest that has as its primary objective the
immediate control of 11 per cent of the world's oil reserves.
In many previous stories FTW has documented how the Iraqi invasion
is but the first in a series of sequential worldwide
military campaigns to which the United States has committed.
All of these are based upon globally dwindling oil
supplies and the pending economic and human consequences
of that reality. On January 21st, CNN
Headline News acknowledged, for the first time, the reality of Peak
Oil and accurately stated that "all the cheap oil there
is has been found." The story also acknowledged that
there was only enough oil left to sustain the planet
for thirty to forty years and that what oil remained
was going to become increasingly more expensive to
produce and deliver.
It is likely that the resiliency
of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in his effort to
resist U.S.-inspired strikes by wealthy Venezuelan industrialists,
has had an impact on this decision by the Bush administration.
Venezuela, which is the third largest foreign exporter
of oil to the U.S., has seen its U.S. deliveries cut
to a fraction of normal levels in recent weeks. Within
the last week oil analysts have been predicting shortages
and price spikes similar to those of 1973-4 if U.S. oil
stocks were not replenished quickly. The administration's
apparent decision to launch the attacks against Iraq
appears to be at least a partial acknowledgement that
Chavez is successfully resisting U.S. pressure to oust
Chavez angered multinational
investors and financiers recently by moving to increase
the share of oil profits retained in Venezuela for the
benefit of its people.
Today's announcements signal
that the world is entering a period of danger not seen
for forty years. That the announcements from the Japanese
government and the State Department came on the same
day that the Department of Homeland Security became active
and its Secretary Tom Ridge was sworn in seems an unlikely
coincidence. Previous reporting from FTW had indicated that even massive
protests and non-violent global resistance would prove
ineffective in preventing an Iraqi invasion. And our
predictions that the Bush junta had prepared for all
the worst-case scenarios, including domestic unrest and
worldwide opposition appear to be vindicated.
The administration has clearly
issued a statement to the world. "Screw you. We're going
to play this game any way you want to play it. And we're
ready for anything that comes."
No one seemed to notice a
story that came out on January 29th revealing
that the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation was
out of money. This is the institution, like the FDIC,
which provides a safety blanket for tens of millions
of Americans who have labored all of their lives and
paid into pension funds that are now bankrupt as a result
of looting and corporate fraud. Two years ago the fund
had $22 billion. Thus the next round of mass layoffs
from bankrupt corporations will see no safety net for
the violated. They will hit the ground hard. Nonetheless
President Bush found $6 billion for "Project Bioshield" to
give handouts to pharmaceutical companies and to stockpile
vaccines against the plague, ebola and botulism. These
vaccines may kill or injure you and they won't even have
to be tested for efficacy before you are forced to take
them. And those who made them have already been shielded
from lawsuits by the Homeland Security Act.
An acquaintance of mine whose
father had served in Hitler's Abwehr intelligence service
once told me of a statement made by his father with whom
he had long since broken relations. His father told him, "The
Third Reich didn't lose the Second World War, it just