The Big Lie


If mere meetings between functionaries are sinister, then U.S. envoy Donald Rumsfeld's friendly meeting in the early 1980s with Saddam Hussein, just after Saddam had used poison gas against the Iranians, may take the prize. 

Incredible as it may seem, despite the 9/11 commission's conclusion that Al Qaeda and the regime of Saddam Hussein had no "collaborative relationship," President Bush and Vice President Cheney continue to insist that there was a "relationship." The president and vice president are calling a few meetings between members of the terrorist group and Iraqi government officials a "relationship." But by analogy, if a charity was able to arrange an appointment with a large corporation or foundation in an attempt to get a contribution but then ultimately got rejected in its solicitation, the Bush administration's logic would conclude that the charity and the corporation had established a philanthropic relationship. A similar outcome apparently occurred between Al Qaeda and the Iraqis. According to the commission, Osama bin Laden requested a haven for his training camps and help in buying weapons, but the Iraqis apparently never responded. That doesn't sound like much of a relationship.

All of the Bush administration's quibbling about the definition of the word "relationship" is as ridiculous as President Clinton's hair-splitting over the definition of the word "is" during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. When a president's justification for actions taken hinges on the definition of a single word, that usually spells trouble.

If mere meetings between functionaries are sinister, then U.S. envoy Donald Rumsfeld's friendly meeting in the early 1980s with Saddam Hussein, just after Saddam had used poison gas against the Iranians, may take the prize. 

Conveniently, just when the president is in dire need of something to cloud the whole issue, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who is seeking to curry favor with the only remaining superpower, claims that Russian intelligence services warned the United States after 9/11 that Saddam Hussein was planning terrorist attacks against U.S. targets. Putin's statement did nothing to address actual Iraqi-sponsored anti-U.S. attacks, which strangely were never carried out, or Iraq's relationship with Al Qaeda or the 9/11 attacks. It only muddied the waters during a critical time when the 9/11 panel reached the devastating conclusion (for the Bush administration) that no collaborative relationship existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda. One wonders, after information from Ahmed Chalabi and his anti-Saddam group proved false and may have been concocted in Iran, whether we should put much faith in intelligence supplied by the former KGB.

But we must not lose sight of the larger questions. First, do a few meetings between members of Al Qaeda and officials from the government of Iraq justify the invasion of that sovereign nation? Only operational cooperation between the Iraqi government and Al Qaeda in orchestrating the 9/11 attack would provide a justification for retaliation. And the president, vice president and Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security advisor, have all admitted that no link between Iraq and the 9/11 attack exists.

Second, past statements by Bush administration officials seem to be flatly false. Vice President Cheney, on at least one occasion, did link Iraq and 9/11, noting that "if we're successful in Iraq...we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographical base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11." Also, he keeps dredging up the now discredited allegation that Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the 9/11 plot, met with an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague in April 2001. Casting much doubt that this meeting ever occurred are the Czech government, the CIA, the 9/11 commission and phone records and other evidence showing that Atta was in Florida at the time.

Furthermore, in the past, President Bush has stated that the relationship between Al Qaeda and Iraq was much closer than the two organizations holding meetings. For example, in the May 2003, announcement that major combat operations were over, he said, "the liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of Al Qaeda."" And in the State of the Union address in January 2003: "Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda."" The last statement appears to refer to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who the president claimed was a senior Al Qaeda operative living in Baghdad and working with the Iraqi government. But according to the New York Times, George Tenet, the now retiring Director of the CIA, admitted that Zarqawi did not work with the Iraqi government and was not under the direction of Al Qaeda. 

The commission's conclusion of no "collaborative relationship" directly contradicts President Bush's very specific allegation that, "Iraq has sent bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with Al Qaeda. Iraq has also provided Al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training." Numerous sources, in addition to the 9/11 panel, have shown those allegations to be untrue.

So the 9/11 commission has merely confirmed what those without naivet had suspected all along: the Bush administration lied and misled America into a needless imperial pet project that has killed thousands of innocent Iraqis and hundreds of U.S. military personnel. The amazing part is that the administration continues to claim that its Goebbels-like "big lie" propaganda is true after all, no matter how much evidence amasses to the contrary.

 

Ivan Eland is the Director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California and author of the book, Putting "Defense" Back into U.S. Defense Policy: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World.


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  11 Comments   Comment

  1. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Assalaamu'Alaiykum br. Dawud,

    Maybe we should just call him Al-Bob (The Bob)..

    Al-Fonz is a bit more twisted in his comments, one could say he's trying to deceivingly get a Bush backing thing going on here..ain't gonna happen Al Fonz.

    Wassalaam to all.

  2. Dawud Williams from USA

    I just want to begin by saying that the comments made by Bob were almost the most ignorant things I have ever heard in my life. First of all, you must not know much of history and an epedition by so called Christians named the Crusaids; Inqusition ring a bell? These WERE acts by Christians trying to convert people against their will. In Islam there is no compuslsion in religion and their faith is not accepted of them if they are forced.

    You made another comment about "radical Muslims;" in the Islamic faith, there is no radiacalism, I believe there is some correction need in the terms you abused. Anyone who commits acts of terrorism in not a Muslim, and can only profess to be one.

    If you knew anything about the actual Islamic religion you would know that being extreme and performing acts of terrorism are stricktly forbidden. Unlike other faiths, Muslims do not separate the religion from their normal lives, Islam IS a Muslim's life, therefore Muslims must adhere to the guidelines of living their lives and worshiping God as prescribed in the Qur'an. This means that anyone who is proclaiming to be a Muslim and is not following the rules of the Qur'an is NOT acting Islamically or being represenative of the Islamic faith.

    Anyone who wants to obtain a copy of the Qur'an for research and knowledge can find one free of charge in any Mosque and they may use it as a reference, before making outrageous comments and allegations concerning Muslims.

    God and religion are NOT just concepts, we cannot explain our existance or ultimate future which guides our present actions without it. Everything happens and is done for a reason, nothing can happen in vain or without the knowledge of a higher entity than ourselves. I encourage you to read about Islam and discover the proof and science of God for yourself, before jumping to conclusions or simply using the media as your only source of information.

    Sincerely,

    Dawud Williams

  3. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Alfonz said: "They [in reference to Americans]are not trying to rule, they are the worlds police and you know who is on the list."

    Listen Alfonz, I am sorry if you are offended by me asking you to please explain your very contradictory comments, for that is all I asked of you to do, but to accept that America is the police of the world, is a defeatist position, and whether or not the path will be revealed to them and they will eventually learn of the mistake they have made in Iraq, the beginning of realizing the truth begins with the people. The people have to start to differentiate between Armageddonists, and the good people of the U.S.A., who have been the most vocal in their disagreement with the invasion and military occupation of Iraq.

    It is not arrogance to state the true intentions of the Bush Administration, that they are indeed reckless in allowing John Ashcroft's, Donald Rumsfeld's, and Paul Wolfowitz's to deliberately align with those Ariel Sharon's, Pat Robertson's, and Daniel Pipes's who are trying very hard to take away the human rights of Muslims, and spread hatred against Islam. This is an obvious fact, and it should be recognized by all good people of the world, so that they have a clear understanding of what is really going on.

    It is indeed a dillusion to believe that those working in the Bush Administration are not attacking Islam. This is my observation based on their actions..that's just the way it goes.

  4. Alfonz from Chile

    Have you seen the news? The Ghosts are coming! Now, no matter how much the bad men hide, justice will be served. Dealt with in the fashion of those deserving.

    By the way, no bush on the brain here, buddy. I call things as I see them. You have no real argument because your comments were in no relation to the topic of the opinion. Your refence to the TV evangelists is misguided, those people are in no way common. They drive 100,000-dollar cars and have the lifestyle of a movie star. They are just as bad as the terrorist! Apparently, you are unable to comprehend that sort of idea. You might want to add a new word to your english vocabulary, tolerance. I did and my heart is not quite as heavy. Or don't and waste your life being miserable and angry.

    Your reference to the poverty of the world being the cause of america is foolish. How many countries have pumped 87 billion dollars into Iraq? Why is it so hard to believe that some people are actually trying to do something that is right? No doubt there are ulterior motives, but for all intents and purposes, the benefits for both sides far outweighs the alternative. I know, what about Israel? I would tell them the same thing. Sharon needs to step down. He is about as smart as a rock.

    As for the oil business, the trend towards alternate fuel is in motion. Rapidly removing the oil would destabilize the WORLD and put everyone back into the stone age. I think this is what people like you want. No medicine, education or rules is a step backwards.

    Your beloved Saudi princes have made their bed, now it is time for them to sleep in it. They should have taken their profits and spent them on the people, not hookers, drink, and luxury boats. How's that for beating around the bush? I have seen both sides and one thing I know for sure, take your mighty pointing finger and turn it around for some well-needed introspection, Mr. Arrogant guy.

  5. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Alfonz, umm have you gone to see your doctor lately..? I think you're suffering from dillusional hyper-bush syndrome.

    Ignorance is blaming Islam and making innocent Muslims suffer because of the Patriot Act's declaration that if you defy the nation's government or it's methods of operation, even if it be peacefully, then you are subject to being labelled as a "terrorist."

    Hate is singling out the faith of Islam as being the religion of the devil, and saying things like "Mohammad was a terrorist"...please refer to the comments made by Jerry Fallwell, Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, and Newt Gingrich...plus countless other evangelicals and born-again methodist Christians who see Bush as their role model..and attack innocent Muslims WITHIN America who are US Citizens.

    Many of America's common people, Alfonz, think that Muslims worship the moon...they think that the anti-Christ will be a Muslim, yet in the Qur'an it states, Al-Masih ibn Maryam which means, The Messiah/Christ, son of Mary, and also says, Isa ibn Maryam which is just Jesus, son of Mary. How can Christians believe that Muslims are awaiting to follow Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (The False Messiah)?

    Christians...I ask you to please try to understand that Muslims are not your enemies. The oppression of innocent, impoverished people around the world is caused by whom? The one's causing the innocent to be in this state, are the enemies humanity should be fighting. I like to call these things, greed, power, lust, hatred, anger, corruption, etc. etc...and the list of vices go on and on. My point being...there are 8 million Muslim Americans. How can anyone in their right mind not see that threats against Syria, Iran, and now even Arabia, are all based on this premise; the world's known oil reserves are looking to run out in the next 20-30 years, if we're lucky, seeing how an economic boom is taking place in China. How do you stop this running out of oil?...you start a war, of course.

  6. Bob from usa

    The 911 commission??.................Shortly after the the JFK Assassination, the Warren Commission was formed........The so called "one bullet" theory was their determination...

    And anybody with any amount of brain matter knows that is impossible..........

    It is very ironic to note that while history is being played our, or in the present tense...Things are not what they appear.......

    The War on Terror has begun....Iraq simply was the second front.......Invading Iraq brillantly brought the rats out of their holes....

    History will reveal this to those currently untold.

    American policy up to now has been too soft on terrorist activity.......911 and the WTC will be the battle cry of those that value freedom and human life........

    ....If terroism continues.....if those that support terrorism contuine their support.....History will look back on this era as the beginning of the time that the civilized world finally came together for a common cause...

    If terrorism continues....I for one, will cringe over the outcome...911 stired the wrath of a sleeping giant........

    911 was the wake-up call........911 will live in infamy as did the Pearl Harbor Attack by the Japanese...............

    I hope that it does not come to this......I hope that the few radical muslims that are responsible for the hostility stop ...........

    The world is made up of many religions...religion is very regional........and cultural.......

    Why can't muslims realize that God and Religion are just concepts.....by which we measure pain, insecurity and fear........Religion is something that is needed by our civilization in order to have structure in our lives..........

    Despite the fact that Christianity trys to convert.........they do not kill innocent folks.............Everyone should listen to John Lennon's "Imagine"..........It is easy if you try............We in this world, in this lifetime are all here for the same reason...We all have aspirations

  7. H.A. from Yathrib

    WOW!!!!!!! Oh! America and Bush! You and your deeds "...look so beautiful. Come and sit on my lap..."

    I long for "...dancing with the angels..." and with you (Americans and Bush) once I depart this Earth, because YOU ARE ALL SO GREAT.

    You are the freedom spreader and the freedom-loving people. When I say! you you r freedom-loving people, I mean to say You r freedom-loving people!!!. Your son, Bush, "electryfly" the world with hope and peace. You must re-elect him. Wow! I can't see anyone as good as him....

    History will record Your "hope boy", Bush, as the "peace boy" of the 21st century. What an honor! Nothing can get better than this... He is an angel..

    Wow! This is great. So beautiful...simply great...Why ask why, you savages of the East? Just Try Bud Dry!.....don't have money?....Play lottery and earn millions....See! How great the land of shining ocean to shining ocean (NOT SEA)is! This is how civilized people should be behaving... Oh, you great people of America! DON'T FORGET TO ENJOY FREEDOM FRIES on this 4th of July....

    Wow! It's so amazing...God Bless America, the Americans and the squirrels and Cicadas of America!

    Wow! Oh squirrell! you look so beautiful! Come and sit on my head...

  8. Umm Muhammad from USA

    OKAY. Bush lied. Now what are we gonna do about it? Vote for Kerry thinking that he will be our savior?

  9. Alfonz from Brazil

    WOW! In my world, I see nothing but hate and ignorance. I see the common people being trodden upon, manipulated by smooth talking men, and a few educated in english warping minds instead of seeking the way. You know the way! Turn around. The common people are strong but have no independent direction, some person shows up and takes away that misguided power and corruption, what you are afraid of is a world with no more tyranny.

    The americans are not fighting Islam, they are fighting the weakness of anger and hate. They are not trying to rule, they are the worlds police and you know who is on the list. Look at the countries that have fought, lost, and prospered within the previous years. Your people are watching and when the americans leave, and they will when the path is revealed, they will fully understand who is responsible. The americans are nothing but a group of common people, look at the way they act, coming from countries that were full of hate and rage. The common people make that country great, not the leaders. They are the ones behind the power. No person can be forced to follow the path, but once that path is unveiled, the strong with nothing and everything to loss will find their way. They will move all by themselves and noting will stand in their way. The people of Iraq will decide, not some angry sneaky guys in their PJ's getting ready for their great dirt nap.

  10. mebrocky from USA

    I don't generally like the articles from the Independent Institute, but this one is right on the money. The arrogance of the Bushies is staggering, and the damage they have done around the world, and to my beloved country - is totally unforgivable. We should all pray for the deliverance of this country from these criminals. I truly hope their treachery is completely and unquestionably exposed!!!

  11. AbdulRahman alTaib from Malaysia

    Of course the truth will appear even you had the best laid plan hidden behind your so called military might . The American forgot that there is One more powerful and mightier than their president and that is Allah. The prayers of the innocence and betrayed has been answered. Pity that a president of a supposed 'great' nation has to be humiliated through the manipulation of American politics by a bunch of zionists i.e. Dick Cheney, Condoleezzi Rice, Rumsfield, and other jewish cohorts.Let this failure (defeat) teach the american as well as the zionist not to be arrogant, bullyish and over confidence. This world is not for you to rule and dictate.