Remember back in the dim, distant past of two months ago, when the Bush administration was posturing all over the place that UN weapons inspectors were taking too long, that Saddam was hiding many weapons of mass destruction to use against the U.S. in a supposedly imminent manner?
Well, now the administration is claiming that searching for weapons of mass destruction takes time. Imagine that!
They quickly searched 80 of their top 100 suspected sites of weapons caches, and to date have found nothing worth mentioning other than some empty shells that could have been designed for pesticides! Therefore, Rumsfeld is busy trying to depress expectations that any “smoking gun” will be found at any time in the foreseeable future. This from the man who insisted we couldn’t wait, that the U.S. had incontrovertible proof of illegal weapons, and that the UN inspectors were taking too much time!
Rumsfeld’s performance echoes good old Joe McCarthy – “I have a list, a list of 1,000 sites where weapons of mass destruction are hidden.”
Powell at the UN also claimed to have such “proof.” He used ten-year-old right-wing think-tank papers, long out of date, documents that in a matter of days were exposed as quite obvious forgeries, and in general tried to use his personality to sell a worthless piece of junk that won’t run.
Now the Bushites are in the unenviable position of opposing any UN role in post-war Iraq following a war that was supposedly waged to enforce UN resolutions! Now, the Bushites refuse to let UN weapons inspectors return to finish the job.
By the way, who is it that used weapons of mass destruction? The same U.S. military directed by those who made the accusations. “We had to use weapons of mass destruction to destroy weapons of mass destruction. We had to go to war for peace. We have to ignore the UN in order to defend the UN. We have to defy the international community to protect the international community. We have to break international laws to enforce international laws.”
It’s turning into even more of a looking-glass world. “The Great and Powerful Oz says ignore that little man behind the curtain.”
The Bushites are also in the awkward position of arguing that U.S. intelligence agencies provided great intelligence, even though their lists of possible weapons caches are turning out all wrong, even though their claims that millions of Iraqis would welcome as liberators the U.S. troops that had just invaded their country are proving wrong.
Instead, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are protesting the U. S. military presence. The U.S. is reduced to blaming this on “outside agitators” from Iran.
They go from boasting about the capabilities of U. S. spy satellites to photograph down to the tiniest detail, to speculating that “they must have snuck them across the border when we weren’t looking.” The U.S. obviously wasn’t looking when a criminal operation was mounted to steal thousands of cuneiform tablets and other ancient artifacts, the heritage not only of Iraq but of the development of the earliest large-scale organized societies in Mesopotamia. But what does it matter if U.S. military operations destroy 3,000-year-old priceless, irreplaceable versions of the earliest writing anywhere in the world? We got in there quick and prevented the use of weapons of mass destruction that we can’t find, can’t prove the existence of, and don’t have a clue about.
Actually, perhaps this is a positive sign that the Bush administration is changing its mind about recycling, starting with recycling excuses, phony claims, anachronistic accusations, and spurious evidence. It’s the return of the Know-Nothings!
It’s not only a world of fun-house mirrors, of exponentially expanding surrealism and absurdity. The Bush pre-emptive strike doctrine is pushing the world closer to more war.
Marc Brodine is chair of the Washington State Communist Party. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org