FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Rhetorical Attacks on Iraq

As much as dissent has been under attack here in the United States since Sept. 11, a reasonable amount rational thinking by the American people should prevail when the question of whether to attack Iraq is put on the table.

No other periodical went after dissenters than did The New Republic magazine when it published an article by its editor-in-chief and chairman, Martin Peretz who equated detractors of war and sympathizers of peace as a “fifth column.”

Comparing libertarians to a new fifth column as a group or faction of subversive agents undermining a nation’s solidarity and who supports an enemy while engaging in espionage or sabotage within national borders seems a little ridiculous.

But when looked at closely, this perspective doesn’t stray much further than the words of our own Attorney General John Ashcroft who, speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee in December 2001 referring to critics of the Bush administration’s policies including military tribunals, “Your tactics only aid terrorists-for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America’s enemies”

These statements coupled with continued national support of the Bush administration’s policies through gallop polls seem to point to the fact Americans must resign to the idea that Iraq is the next target in the war on terrorism.

The next front to be won over is the Europeans as well as Arab and Muslim countries that have spoken out for months against a unilateral attack on Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney’s main purpose for his 10-day 12-country tour is to whip up support for future strikes against Iraq, not so much as a coalition, but to justify an American unilateral attack if others aren’t willing to partake in the fun.

Since Sept. 11, the US has done everything in its power to justify an attack on Iraq. A typical tactic of good power-mongering politics is to ‘talk up’ an enemy so as to legitimize an attack just as Hitler ‘talked up’ an invisible communist revolution in Germany to consolidate power for himself.

In this sense, the U.S. government and conservative media pundits first claimed Iraq had Al-Qaeda links. European governments stood up and corrected the Americans stating there was no evidence linking Osama bin Laden to Baghdad and Saddam Hussein.

After that failed the course was changed instead relying on a smear campaign emphasizing the possible possession of chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction.

Scott Ritter, former chief of the Concealment Investigations Unit for the UN Special Commission on Iraq, has said the opposite though. “It was possible as early as 1997 to determine that, from a qualitative standpoint, Iraq had been disarmed. Iraq no longer possessed any meaningful quantities of chemical or biological agent.” Ritter said. Now, the newest version is the notion that Iraq will have nuclear capabilities soon when in fact that statement is nothing more than convenient speculation and scare tactics aimed at elbowing out detractors.

What seems a little more rational is that the Bush administration is thinking more along the lines of a future Iraqi attack on Israel or Saudi Arabia, two of the main concerns of the Bush Sr. administration during the Gulf War.

Yet, Iraq is a crippled nation and has the dubious distinction of being the country with the highest increase in child mortality during the period 1990-99 of all the 188 countries surveyed according to a UNICEF report released in December 2000.

As Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday, two former UN Humanitarian Coordinators for Iraq have pointed out, “At the end of World War II, a Marshall Plan came to the rescue of a civilian population in Germany devastated and traumatized by six years of war. At the end of Operation Desert Storm in 1991 following the earlier Iran-Iraq war of eight years, Iraqis were sentenced to the most comprehensive sanctions ever extended by the international community to a country.”

Still, the American government will not compromise or even consider the notion of engaging in self-examination and possible changes to a foreign policy that is much more closely aligned with dictatorial power and abuse than democracy.

Our administration must consider how much the world could change if it altered its policy in the Isreali-Palestinian conflict to an objective stance instead of justifying anything the Israelis want. Also, Start spending money at universities like USF on research into alternative sources of fuel for our cars such as solar power, electric and hydrogen powered cars so as to avoid a national addiction to cheap Middle East oil.

Iraq is not a terrorist threat therefore, if the U.S. attacks Iraq, this new military development should be distinctly separated from the “War on Terrorism.” Or, the name “War on Terrorism” should be changed to “War on Dissenters.” A much more open policy would be appreciated since Iraq’s main problem to the US seems only to be its denial of UN weapons inspectors. Of course, “War on Dissenters” can be shortened to “War on Dissent” just as, “War on Terror” has been adopted by the mainstream media.

Alex Lynch is founder and editor of THE SHANACHIE Alternative Campus Newspaper at the University of South Florida. He can be contacted at shanachie51@hotmail.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
July 19, 2018
Rajai R. Masri
The West’s Potential Symbiotic Contributions to Freeing a Closed Muslim Mind
Jennifer Matsui
The Blue Pill Presidency
Ryan LaMothe
The Moral and Spiritual Bankruptcy of White Evangelicals
Paul Tritschler
Negative Capability: a Force for Change?
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: ‘Social Dialogue’ Reform Frustrations
Rev. William Alberts
A Well-Kept United Methodist Church Secret
Raouf Halaby
Joseph Harsch, Robert Fisk, Franklin Lamb: Three of the Very Best
George Ochenski
He Speaks From Experience: Max Baucus on “Squandered Leadership”
Ted Rall
Right Now, It Looks Like Trump Will Win in 2020
David Swanson
The Intelligence Community Is Neither
Andrew Moss
Chaos or Community in Immigration Policy
Kim Scipes
Where Do We Go From Here? How Do We Get There?
July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail