Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The War On Terror Looks Like A Fraud Because It Is One!

John Gleeson of the Winnipeg Sun hit the nail pretty close to the head on Friday when he wrote:

War on Terror looks like a Fraud
Contrary to the "patriots" who try to use the deaths of our soldiers in Afghanistan to stifle debate on Canada's involvement in the War on Terror, I would say that as new evidence presents itself, we would indeed be cowards to ignore it simply because we've lost troops in the field and are therefore blindly committed to the mission.
The word in quotes refers to Canadian "patriots" here but he is quite right about taking in new evidence as it presents itself. And the same logic applies, of course, to any country in which the rising number of military deaths is used to stifle debate on public policy.
And new evidence is piling up around us, arguably strong enough to declare the whole War on Terror an undeniable fraud.
A blogger might make the same point more strongly, especially if (for example) said blogger didn't have any advertisers to think of. And this cold blogger has been saying essentially the same thing, in many different ways, for quite a while.

In other words, the evidence that seems to be piling up around us at the moment only supplements evidence that was visible a long time ago. This in no way minimizes John Gleeson's piece, which focuses on black gold, Baghdad Tea:
Virtually ignored by mainstream media, the Americans showed their hand this year with the new Iraqi oil law, now making its way through Iraq's parliament.
Indeed! It's been a big story on some of our favorite blogs, but hardly a word from the mainstream media. In this cold blogger's opinion, it was brave and commendable of John Gleeson to buck that trend...
The law -- which tens of thousands of Iraqis marched peacefully against on Monday when they called for the immediate expulsion of U.S. forces -- would transfer control of one of the largest oil reserves on the planet from Baghdad to Big Oil, delivering "the prize" at last that Vice-President Dick Cheney famously talked about in 1999 when he was CEO of Halliburton.
... and to mention Cheney and Halliburton, the most famous if not the most amply compensated modern American war-profiteers!
"The key point of the law," wrote Mother Jones' Washington correspondent James Ridgeway on March 1, "is that Iraq's immense oil wealth (115 billion barrels of proven reserves, third in the world after Saudi Arabia and Iran) will be under the iron rule of a fuzzy 'Federal Oil and Gas Council' boasting 'a panel of oil experts from inside and outside Iraq.' That is, nothing less than predominantly U.S. Big Oil executives.

"The law represents no less than institutionalized raping and pillaging of Iraq's oil wealth. It represents the death knell of nationalized Iraqi resources, now replaced by production sharing agreements, which translate into savage privatization and monster profit rates of up to 75% for (basically U.S.) Big Oil. Sixty-five of Iraq's roughly 80 oilfields already known will be offered for Big Oil to exploit."
Yes, and even worse, as I understand it: the monster profit rates of 75% will come into effect only after the big oil companies have been sufficiently "compensated" for their capital investment in Iraq. Prior to that point, which will apparently be determined by the oil companies themselves, their share of the profits will be much higher than 75%.
While the U.S. argues that the oil deal will give Iraqis their shot at "freedom and stability," the International Committee of the Red Cross reported this week that millions of Iraqis are in a "disastrous" situation that continues to deteriorate, with "mothers appealing for someone to pick up the bodies littering the street so their children will be spared the horror of looking at them on their way to school."
That's only one indication among many.

Some observers might look to the Luis Posada Carriles case and draw the conclusion that this War is very selective about what sort of Terror it fights.

As for Iraq, to those of us who have been watching closely, it has always been clear that the US invasion was never intended to bring that country "freedom and stability".

And that's why Evelyn Pringle writes:
In November 2002, Stephen Hadley, deputy national security advisor at the time, called Lockheed employee, Bruce Jackson, to a meeting at the White House and told him that the US was definitely going to war in Iraq but there was one small hitch, the administration could not decide what reason to use to justify it.

So Jackson formed the "Committee for the Liberation of Iraq," and its mission statement said it was "formed to promote regional peace, political freedom and international security by replacing the Saddam Hussein regime with a democratic government that respects the rights of the Iraqi people and ceases to threaten the community of nations."
Listen! Do you want to know a secret? If freedom and stability were really on the agenda, the Pentagon would have nixed the use of depleted uranium, and that's just for starters.

Here's John Gleeson again:
Four years after the invasion, it's becoming pretty clear that Iraq has been "pacified" solely for the purpose of economic aggression. Humanitarian considerations are moot. The awful plight of Iraq's one million Christians, who have no place in the new Iraq, underscores this ugly truth.
Quite so. It's not only the Iraqi Christians, although they may strike a responsive chord in the mind of the North American reader. The humanitarian crisis is upon all of Iraq -- indeed all of the Middle East -- not just the Christians. And humanitarian considerations are indeed moot.

So, by the way, is all talk of American withdrawal in the near- or medium- or long-term future.
Afghanistan, meanwhile, has given the U.S. a strategic military beachhead in Central Asia (which "American primacy" advocates called for in the '90s) and it was quietly reported in November that plans are being accelerated for a $3.3-billion natural gas pipeline "to help Afghanistan become an energy bridge in the region."
So perhaps it wasn't so loony after all to wonder if Afghanistan wasn't about the gas pipeline all along, rather than the shadowy figure of Osama bin Laden, who has never been seriously threatened, let alone captured, and who isn't even listed as a 9/11 suspect by the FBI.
With many Americans (including academics and former top U.S. government officials) now questioning even the physical facts of 9/11 and seriously disputing the "militant Islam" spin, with the media more brain-dead than it's been in our lifetimes, now is not the time for jingoism and blind faith in the likes of Cheney, George W. Bush and Robert Gates.
Quite true. And it's nice Mr. Gleeson to notice. If only more American journalists would do the same.
Our young men are worth more than that -- aren't they, Mr. Harper?
Well of course they are. They're worth at least that, and Steven Harper knows it. But his allegiance to his pseudo-conservative enablers may be stronger than the ties that arise from the worth of humanity, unfortunately.

On the other hand, what a column!

You don't often see such sentiments expressed so bluntly in mainstream North American media. Granted it's Canadian media, but it's certainly not a crunchy-granola bleeding-heart left-wing paper.

More to the point, John Gleeson is absolutely right. It's refreshing to see so much truth in any newspaper, let alone the Sun.

I've been saying ever since I started blogging that the war on terror is bogus, and that this conclusion can be reached in all manner of ways. John Gleeson mentions 9/11, the oil law in Iraq and the pipeline through Afghanistan. But here's another way to see the same thing:

The Pentagon has sent out memos saying their main priority is now to win the war on terror by October of 2008 -- just in time for the next presidential election. Not just the war in Iraq, mind you. The word has gone out: wrap up the entire Global War on Terror.

This was a war that was supposed to last for generations. And it's not as if we've shown any signs of "winning". To be blunt about it, we haven't even shown any sign of understanding what "winning" means, let alone what it takes to "win".

If this is a war that can be started and stopped at the pleasure of the President, or the Pentagon, just in time for an election -- or even if the people running it see it that way -- then it's clearly a cynical ploy, not worthy of financial sacrifice, let alone the sacrifice of young men and women. Not to speak of the destruction of foreign countries and innocent victims numbering in the millions.

If this were a real war, there would be no way to know when it would end. Or how.

And as we noted yesterday, our so-called most important European allies in the so-called war on so-called terror seem to understand at least some of this, and they now refuse to call it what our so-called president insists on calling it.

They're not calling it "Grand Theft Oil", as this nearly frozen blogger might sometimes do, but then again we don't have to worry about offending any sponsors here.

All sarcasm aside, it's slightly encouraging to see the "War on Terror" being rejected by such an important ally, even if they're only rejecting the phrase and not the war. Maybe speaking the truth is going to become slightly less unfashionable, at least for a little while.

And if that's the case, it could be that John Gleeson is not only absolutely right but also slightly ahead of the curve ... even if the curve has taken its sweet time getting here.