Ready to rain death on Iraq
February 22, 2002 | Page 1
GEORGE W. BUSH has set his sights on Iraq. "This is not an argument about whether to get rid of Saddam Hussein," a senior Bush administration official told the Philadelphia Inquirer last week. "That debate is over. This is how you do it." The Inquirer reported that Bush had ordered the CIA and Pentagon to develop a plan to oust the Iraqi president.
So Vice President Dick Cheney will tour the Middle East with a clear message next month. "He's not going to beg for support," explained another White House official. "He's going to inform them that the president's decision has been made and will be carried out, and if they want some input into how and when it's carried out, now's the time for them to speak up."
In other words, the U.S. government will do whatever it wants. Period.
Pumped up from the U.S. victory over one of the world's poorest countries, Afghanistan, Bush is itching to spread the horror. His State of the Union address in January introduced the latest short list of enemies--a so-called "axis of evil" that includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
The justification for the war on Afghanistan--to bring to justice the supposed perpetrators of the September 11 attacks in the U.S.--was long gone. Bush served notice that the "war on terrorism" would spread around the globe, to wherever the Pentagon brass and the Texas oil boys in the White House want to lay down the law.
No one could really figure out what connected the countries of the "evil axis." "[B]ut that's what I like about it," insufferable New York Times hack Thomas Friedman declared in a column called "Crazier Than Thou." "It says to these countries and their terrorist pals: 'We know what you're cooking in your bathtubs. We don't know exactly what we're going to do about it, but if you think we are going to just sit back and take another dose from you, you're wrong. Meet Don Rumsfeld--he's even crazier than you are.'"
Democrats Al Gore and Joe Lieberman jumped to praise Bush's crackpot evil-axis diatribes. "There is value in calling evil by its name," Gore gushed last week.
Bush is certain to be denouncing "evil" on his trip to Asia. He'll visit the land mine-filled "demilitarized zone" that separates South and North Korea--where 37,000 heavily armed U.S. troops are based.
But if Bush is looking for "evil," he doesn't have to travel halfway across the world. He can visit Dick Cheney, who got his training in terror as defense secretary during Papa Bush's 1991 war on Iraq.
Or he can call on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who's ready to use the Pentagon's $48 billion budget increase to buy new weapons of mass destruction.
Or he could phone Secretary of State Colin Powell, the supposed "dove" in the Bush administration who's anything but.
These men are the real "axis of evil." And we have to organize opposition to their murderous policies.