Saturday, November 22, 2003

Terror And The Whirlwind: "In early 2003, a high-level task force of the Council on Foreign Relations warned of likely terrorist attacks far worse than September 11, including possible use of weapons of mass destruction within the US, dangers that became 'more urgent by the prospect of the US going to war with Iraq'. (Quoted, Noam Chomsky, 'Confronting The Empire', ZNet, February 1, 2003)

"This awareness created deep unease within the intelligence community. In a letter to the Guardian, Lt Cdr Martin Packard (rtd), a former Nato intelligence adviser, wrote: 'In the case of Iraq the urgency for military action appears to arise not because of a gathering Iraqi threat but because of political and economic considerations in America. Scepticism over US-UK spin on Iraq is validated by the number of senior military officers and former intelligence analysts who remain unconvinced that war at this stage is justified. Many of them believe that the threat to UK interests and to regional stability will be increased by a US-led attack on Iraq rather than diminished.' (The Guardian, Letters, February 8, 2003)

"According to Douglas Hurd, former Conservative Foreign Secretary, war on Iraq ran 'the risk of turning the Middle East into an inexhaustible recruiting ground for anti-western terrorism'. (Financial Times, January 3, 2003) Shortly before the war, Saudi Arabia's former oil minister, Sheikh Yamani, said: 'What they are going to do if they embark on this is to produce real terrorists. I think sometime in the future Osama bin Laden will look like an angel compared to the future terrorists.' (Newsnight, January 30, 2003)

"The Bush/Blair strategy, Noam Chomsky noted, 'has caused shudders not only among the usual victims, and in 'old Europe,' [but] right at the heart of the US foreign policy elite, who recognise that 'commitment of the US to active military confrontation for decisive national advantage will leave the world more dangerous and the US less secure'.' (Chomsky, op., cit) There are, Chomsky pointed out, no precedents whatever for this kind of establishment opposition. Anatol Lieven, a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, wrote that the Bush administration is pursuing 'the classic modern strategy of an endangered right-wing oligarchy, which is to divert mass discontent into nationalism,' inspired by fear of lethal threats. Lieven warned that America 'has become a menace to itself and to mankind'."

There could hardly be anything more mendacious than this 'war on terror' - and yet the opposition is silent. Bush, Blair and Howard can continue their propaganda offensive without being shouted down or thrown out of office. Opposition is 'tactical' rather than principled: it attempts to exploit softness in the polls but does nothing to address the fundamental mendacity.

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