Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Bush's Messy War is Courting Total Disaster

Expand Messages
  • Djehuti Sundaka
    Ya know, we all talk bad about Bush but after reading an article like this it seems that Bush just may be his Aryan world s own worst enemy. Poetic Justice?
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2002
      Ya know, we all talk bad about Bush but after reading an article like
      this it seems that Bush just may be his Aryan world's own worst enemy.
      Poetic Justice? We'll see.

      Djehuti Sundaka

      Bush's Messy War is Courting Total Disaster
      By William Rivers Pitt
      t r u t h o u t | Report

      Tuesday, 30 July, 2002

      At the same time Americans were celebrating what is left of their
      freedoms on the Fourth of July,
      civilians in the Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan were burying women and
      children massacred by U.S. forces during a wedding ceremony. According
      to reports, 48 civilians were killed and 100 more were wounded when Air
      Force attack aircraft swooped down and strafed the wedding with bombs
      and cannon fire.

      The simple fact is bad enough. This disaster is no secret in Afghanistan
      and the rest of the Muslim
      world. The deaths of these innocents has undoubtedly birthed new
      would-be terrorists who will someday seek to die for the privilege of
      seeing Americans die. Our bombs and bullets have done marvelous
      recruiting work for Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

      A preliminary United Nations report on its investigation of that attack
      is said to have found evidence of an attempted coverup by American
      forces of the attack. Shrapnel, bullets and bloodstains were removed
      from the scene. Civilian women at the site are reported to have been
      bound at the hands by our forces while the evidence was removed and
      destroyed. The massacre of civilians was horrific. The fact that we
      tried to cover it up is monstrous.

      So it goes with Mr. Bush's war on terrorism. The fight in Afghanistan is
      far from over, as evidenced by recent attacks upon our troops in the
      Khost region. Several major media outlets reported some days ago that
      some of our troops were in fact killed, a claim the Pentagon vehemently
      denied. The UN report of American efforts to cover up the facts of the
      wedding massacre make such denials difficult to believe.

      While American troops and Afghan civilians continue to bleed, Bush is
      shopping around for a new
      battlefront. Momentum is building across our national political
      landscape for a war with Iraq. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee
      will hold hearings beginning Wednesday, July 31st, to explore the threat
      to America represented by Saddam Hussein. It is unlikely that any
      politician will stand up and ask the central questions - Where is the
      evidence that Hussein poses a threat? If he has weapons of mass
      destruction and we know it, why didn't we go to war against him months
      ago? Thanks to this cowardice, the Committee hearings will be little
      more than a rubber stamp for conflict. It seems all too likely that our
      forces will soon be engaged in Iraq.

      The fallout from this conflict will be enormous. American troops will
      die, unless we engage in antiseptic aerial bombardment that will utterly
      fail to dislodge Hussein or his purported weapons. Tens of thousands of
      Iraqi civilians will die no matter how we decide to wage the war. If
      America decides, in pure Bush unilateralist action, to wage war without
      the blessings of the international community or a United Nations
      mandate, our prestige on the world stage will be annihilated.

      Worse, war in Iraq will drive the Middle East into a state of utter
      chaos. Reports from the British Foreign Affairs office paint a picture
      of a teetering Saudi Arabia on the brink of collapse. Infighting between
      the ruling Prince Abdullah and pro-Al Qaeda members of his royal family,
      fueled by Abdullah's pro-Western stance, has led observers to wonder how
      long this American ally within the House of Saud can stay on the throne.
      Popular uprisings against Abdullah have added fuel to this fire.

      An American attack upon Iraq could very easily be the spark that ignites
      a terrible conflagration. If Prince Abdullah falls to an uprising
      exacerbated by our conflict in the region, the Saudi oil fields will
      come under the control of fanatics loyal to Al Qaeda's cause. This is
      precisely what Osama bin Laden wanted - the oil. Were this to happen, it
      is certain that Bush would commit our forces to defeating the
      insurgents. American war in the land of Mecca and Medina would
      precipitate a global crisis that would make the events of September 11th
      seem tame by comparison.

      With the fight in Afghanistan still unfinished, with no evidence on the
      table to make the case that
      Saddam Hussein poses a threat to America, and with the terrifying
      implications of chaos in the Mideast if we do go to war there, why on
      earth would Bush and his people want to push towards battle?

      In all likelihood, the answer lies within the geometry of the voting
      booth and the American marketplace. The Congressional midterm elections
      will be taking place in 99 days. Instability in the stock market,
      combined with reports of massive corporate fraud and mounting evidence
      that Bush and Cheney behaved like Lay and Fastow, augmented by a war on
      terror that does not seem to be getting anything done, has stripped the
      GOP of anything to run on in their respective races. By most reports,
      Republicans are facing an electoral wipeout to rival the Gingrich
      Revolution of 1994. A splendid little war, combined with the inevitable
      demands for patriotism, would serve to create Bush coattails where none
      currently exist.

      Beyond that lies a motivation that is chilling in its inception. Larry
      Kudlow, a market analyst for CNBC, put forth the proposition in a column
      published on July 28th that war in Iraq is necessary to save the stock
      market. The article is entitled, 'Taking Back the Market - By Force.'

      "The shock therapy of decisive war," opined Kudlow, "will elevate the
      stock market by a couple thousand points. We will know that our
      businesses will stay open, that our families will be safe and that our
      future will be unlimited. The world will be righted in this
      life-and-death struggle to preserve our values and our civilization."

      If thinking such as this is mirrored within the Bush administration, and
      all indicators point to the sad fact that this is indeed the case, there
      will be little left of our civilization. The world will burn, the
      markets will crumble, and many more innocents will die. This war,
      already a mess on so many levels, flirts with Armageddon.

      © : t r u t h o u t 2002

      Profound Effect on U.S. Economy Seen in a War on Iraq
      By Patrick E. Tyler and Richard W. Stevenson
      New York Times | International

      Tuesday, 30 July, 2002

      WASHINGTON, July 29 -- An American attack on Iraq could profoundly
      affect the American economy, because the United States would have to pay
      most of the cost and bear the brunt of any oil price shock or other
      market disruptions, government officials, diplomats and economists say.

      Eleven years ago, the Persian Gulf war, fought to roll back Iraq's
      invasion of Kuwait, cost the United
      States and its allies $60 billion and helped set off an economic
      recession caused in part by a spike in oil prices.

      For that war, the allies picked up almost 80 percent of the bill. Today,
      however, as the Bush
      administration works on plans to overthrow Saddam Hussein, the United
      States is confronting the
      likelihood that this time around it would have to pick up the tab
      largely by itself, diplomats said.

      Unless the economic outlook brightens, the government could well find
      itself spending heavily on the
      military even as the economy recovers falteringly from last year's

      Senior administration officials said Mr. Bush and his top advisers had
      not begun to consider the cost of a war because they had yet to decide
      what kind of military operation might be necessary. Whatever choice is
      made, experts say, the costs are likely to be significant and therefore
      may ultimately influence the size, scale and tactics of any military

      Already, the federal budget deficit is expanding, meaning that the bill
      for a war would lead either to more red ink or to cutbacks in domestic

      If consumer and investor confidence remains fragile, military action
      could have substantial psychological effects on the financial markets,
      retail spending, business investment, travel and other key elements of
      the economy, officials and experts said.

      If oil supplies are disrupted, as they were during the 1991 gulf war,
      and prices rise sharply, the economic effects would be felt in the
      United States and around the world.

      All of that could present a complicated political problem for President
      Bush, both in the Congressional mid-term elections in November and as he
      manages a war and looks ahead to his re-election campaign in 2004.

      "I think a good case can be made that voters will want to understand the
      case for a war or any kind of extended military action better than they
      do now because the economic considerations are
      considerable," said Kim N. Wallace, a political analyst for Lehman
      Brothers in Washington.

      Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Japan divided the cost of the 1991 war with the
      United States, but today none has offered to assist with financing a new
      military campaign. In fact, each has signaled that it is not eager to be
      asked, diplomats say.

      "Just open a map," said a member of the Kuwaiti royal family in close
      consultation with Washington.
      "Afghanistan is in turmoil, the Middle East is in flames, and you want
      to open a third front in the region?"

      "That would truly turn into a war of civilizations," he added.

      If Mr. Bush decides on a large-scale invasion plan for Iraq involving as
      many as 250,000 troops, as some commanders advocate, the country would
      face a significant military mobilization and call-up of reserves as
      early as this fall to be ready for a military campaign early next year.

      James R. Schlesinger, a member of the Defense Policy Board that advises
      the Pentagon who held
      senior cabinet posts in Republican and Democratic administrations, said
      he believed that the president would opt for a significant ground
      presence in Iraq. He said he did not think that fear of economic
      instability by itself would cause the United States to refrain from
      trying to unseat the Iraqi leader.

      "My view is that given all we have said as a leading world power about
      the necessity of regime change in Iraq," Mr. Schlesinger said, "means
      that our credibility would be badly damaged if that regime change did
      not take place."

      The Persian Gulf war cost $61.1 billion, according to the Congressional
      Research Service, of which
      $48.4 billion was paid by other nations.

      The House Budget Committee's Democratic staff said that in 2002 dollars,
      the cost of the war was $79.9 billion, providing a very rough benchmark
      for what a conflict of similar dimensions might cost today.

      Representative John M. Spratt Jr. of South Carolina, the senior Democrat
      on the House Budget
      Committee and a member of the Armed Services Committee, said the United
      States would come up with whatever money was necessary. But he said
      planning for a war now would have to recognize the nation's
      deteriorating fiscal condition and the need to address other priorities.

      "While it's not beyond our means, we can't have it all," Mr. Spratt
      said. "Since there is no surplus in the budget from which the cost could
      be paid, there will be trade-offs, making initiatives like Medicare drug
      coverage harder to do, and there almost certainly will be deeper
      deficits and more debt."

      James A. Placke, a former senior diplomat specializing in the Persian
      Gulf and now a senior associate of Cambridge Energy Research Associates,
      said the market reaction to any invasion of Iraq was at best uncertain.
      "Given the marked lack of enthusiasm for this venture, I wouldn't think
      the market reaction would be very good," he said.

      "When weapons start going off in the Middle East, markets generally go
      down, gold prices go up, and oil prices shoot to the moon," he added,
      "and I expect that this is the short-run pattern that we can reasonably

      The United States is best prepared among the Western powers to withstand
      fluctuations in oil markets through drawdowns from its Strategic
      Petroleum Reserve, which today holds about 580 million barrels of oil.
      But Richard N. Cooper, a Harvard economist who headed the Central
      Intelligence Agency's top analytical body during the 1990's, cautioned
      that "psychological factors come into play" even in the face of prudent

      He pointed out that after Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in August 1990,
      oil prices climbed rapidly from a low of $15 a barrel and peaked at $40
      in October 1990, although it was well known that the United States would
      release oil from the strategic reserve. Prices remained high for more
      than a year in what many experts saw as a tax on worldwide consumers
      that allowed Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to pay down the American and allied
      bill for the war.

      "I am firmly of the school that the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
      precipitated the American recession in 1991," Professor Cooper said,
      adding that while he generally praised the first President Bush's
      handling of the war, "the one area of fault was that they dallied on
      their commitment to release oil supplies from the Strategic Petroleum

      Last Nov. 13, a month after the United States began bombing Afghanistan
      to dislodge the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the president's advisers debated
      whether Iraq should be the focus of phase two of the campaign against
      terrorism. Mr. Bush directed Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to add
      more than 100 million barrels to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

      Since Jan. 1, oil shipments into the reserve have reached record levels,
      about 150,000 barrels a day.
      One oil strategist in London noted that United States government
      acquisitions for the reserve were
      accounting for more than half of the growth in demand for oil this year.

      With a capacity of 700 million barrels, the reserve could be used to
      disperse 4.2 million barrels of oil a day to jittery markets -- more
      than enough to make up for the 1 million barrels a day of Iraqi crude
      lost because of military operations.

      "What I am hearing from Washington," said Adam Sieminski, an oil markets
      analyst for Deutsche Bank in London, "is that serious consideration is
      being given to a coordinated Strategic Petroleum Reserve drawdown by the
      United States, Germany and Japan if military action takes place because
      this Bush does not want to make the mistake his father did."

      Still, the fear is that Mr. Hussein, who set afire oil fields in Kuwait
      a decade ago, might strike out with chemical, biological or radiological
      weapons at Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer with
      the largest capacity to expand its oil production to stabilize oil

      "Everybody's nightmare is Saudi Arabia," said an Energy Department oil
      analyst. "People are deathly
      afraid of any military campaign spreading to Saudi Arabia." That country
      contains one half of the spare production capacity in the Organization
      of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.