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SHOCK AND AWE OVER GAZA — Jonathan Cook reports from the West Bank on How the Media and Human Rights Groups Cover for Israel’s War Crimes; Jeffrey St. Clair on Why Israel is Losing; Nick Alexandrov on Honduras Five Years After the Coup; Joshua Frank on California’s Water Crisis; Ismael Hossein-Zadeh on Finance Capital and Inequality; Kathy Deacon on The Center for the Whole Person; Kim Nicolini on the Aesthetics of Jim Jarmusch. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the Faltering Economic Recovery; Chris Floyd on Being Trapped in a Mad World; and Kristin Kolb on Cancer Without Melodrama.
The Carnegie Report on Iraq's Missing WMDs

Orange Jumpsuits for the Bush Clan?

by MIKE WHITNEY

"Fishmongers sell fish; warmongers sell war"

Sir Rodric Braithwaite

A long-awaited 61 page study was released by the Carnegie Endowment yesterday and it strongly criticized President Bush for "systematically misrepresenting" the threats posed by Iraq’s alleged weapons programs. The sharply worded document went on to confirm that the extent of Iraq’s nuclear and chemical programs was "largely knowable" and that the sanctions had "effectively destroyed" Iraq’s capability to produce these weapons.

The report provides the first conclusive assessment of the reasons that led the nation to war, and that assessment is damning in the extreme. Its analysis asserts in unambiguous language that "this war was not necessary" and that the people of the United States were deliberately misled to achieve the dubious objectives of the Bush Administration.

The study was released just hours before an American Blackhawk Helicopter was shot down around Falluja killing all nine crewmen. The tragedy only punctuates the grim fact that innocent lives continue to be sacrificed in a war that has only been justified in terms of deception and lies.

If members of Congress could be counted on at all to perform their sworn duty, they would convene an independent investigation to either confirm or deny these new charges. However, with the Republican’s controlling comfortable margins in the House, it seems unlikely that we’ll see any movement on that front.

It appears an equally remote possibility that the media will break with tradition and offer some tepid criticism of an Administration who they follow about like a lovesick teenager. The media has been the principle facilitator of the war, we shouldn’t expect to see them to reverse directions and function in the interests of the general public. But we should not abandon our commitment to resolve this issue, even as political sympathies are apt to shift from their present alignment. Presently there is a great deal of deliberation among democrats and liberals about what the appropriate tack we should take now that we have troops committed in Iraq. The questions of whether we "should get out now" or "stay and finish the job", have loomed large in this national debate, and so they should. But, there is a larger question that should dwarf all others, and that is the question of accountability.

It’s understandable that Americans would want to take a practical approach and deal with results-based questions, like what to do next. However, this should not be accepted as a substitute for bringing those who started this illegal and immoral war to justice. Whether this is futile or not is entirely immaterial, (and we are all aware of the extraordinary power held by the President and his Administration) as citizens devoted to basic democratic principles we should be resolute in our commitment to insure that Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney are held liable for the crimes they have visited on innocent US Military servicemen and the entire Iraqi population.

If Henry Kissinger and Robert MacNamara were ensconced in an 5 by 7 ft. windowless cell in Guantanamo Bay, only to make monthly appearances in front of the world media in their orange jumpsuits (in leg-irons and shackles); we would not be at this juncture today. The crimes of Viet Nam were never answered. We cannot allow that to happen again.

MIKE WHITNEY can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com