I accept that the circle around GW Bush has chosen war. In one sense, that is the definitive answer to the question ‘why war against Iraq now?’. It cannot be improved upon.

But we can ask ‘what were they trying to do?’. What was their intention? We would find this episode just a little less bizarre if we could draft an account to answer the ‘why?’ question.

The starting-point, of course, is that the ostensible reasons offered by the Cheney-Rumsfeld group are patently unpersuasive. No evidence of a significant Iraqi embrace of Al Qaeda has been offered. The US public’s widely held view that Iraq was implicated in the 9.11 attacks, a fantasy fostered by the Cheney-Rumsfeld group and held by almost half of US adults, appears to be completely false. And there is yet no evidence of Iraqi ‘weapons of mass destruction’; and Washington must be unable or unwilling to point out to the inspectors where they could find the weapons, which Washington insists Iraq must give up, because it has lodged no complaint that the inspectors have failed to follow hot tips from the White House.

Here are the URLs of some texts worth remembering:

Jay Bookman, deputy editorial page editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wrote an article on 29 September 2002 titled “The President’s Real Goal in Iraq.” Bookman writes that

This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility and authority as planetary policeman. It would be the culmination of a plan 10 years or more in the making, carried out by those who belive the United States must seize the opportunity for global domination, even if it means becoming the ‘American imperialism’ that our enemies always claimed we were.

Bookman cites three other salient texts.

You can read leaked excerpts from the original draft of a 1992 Defense Planning Guidance which, in Bookman’s words, “envisioned the United States as a colossus astride the world, imposing its will and keeping world peace through military and economic power.”

The September 2000 report Building America’s Defenses of the Project for the New American Century, a private organization, draws attention to similarities between proposals in that plan and moves adopted by the GW Bush administration.

The 20 September 2002 US National Security Strategy.


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