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Bush and Blair lied...
Iraqis died

February 6, 2004 | Page 1

THERE WERE no weapons of mass destruction--and even the Bush administration's most determined defenders of war admit it. "I don't think they existed," David Kay, the leader of the U.S. hunt for banned weapons in Iraq, said as he resigned his post. "I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the '90s."

Quite an admission, considering that the Bush gang based their war on Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction. With Kay's resignation, the whole world now knows that the antiwar movement was right: Washington manufactured its case for war.

The furor over Kay's comments forced Bush to announce the creation of a commission to look into "intelligence failures." "I want the American people to know that I, too, want to know the facts," Bush told reporters--while conveniently skipping the fact that he'll be the one to choose the members of the panel, and that it's not scheduled to report until 2005, long after the election.

The Bush gang lied to justify a barbaric war--and heaped abuse on anyone who dared to question their evidence or motives. Now the administration wants to pin the blame for faked reports of weapons of mass destruction on a few hacks in the "intelligence" community, while the liars at the top expect to get off scot-free.

For his part, the Bush administration's lapdog, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, managed to squirm his way out of his own inquiry over hyped-up evidence of weapons of mass destruction. The investigation centered on whether pressure from officials of Blair's government led to the suicide of a scientist, David Kelly, who told a BBC reporter that British intelligence services "sexed up" reports of Iraqi weapons.

But incredibly, instead of placing the blame on Blair, Lord Hutton, the judge who oversaw the inquiry, faulted British journalists--saying that the BBC's allegation that the government padded its dossier on Iraqi weapons was "unfounded." The controversy over what Bush and Blair knew--and when they knew it--will continue as the pair scramble to avoid accountability for their lies.

But the facts in Iraq can't be ignored so easily. The crisis in the country became even clearer this week, as 67 Iraqis were killed and more than 240 injured in separate bombings of the headquarters of Iraq's two leading Kurdish parties.

Each day brings more suffering for the millions of innocent Iraqis being crushed under the heel of the brutal U.S. occupation. Iraqis like Hammad Naif Ermil, who was killed by U.S. troops in Khaldiya January 28, when the truck he was driving came under U.S. gunfire after a roadside bomb exploded, killing U.S. soldiers.

"The Americans are treating us like animals," said one man in Hammad's funeral procession. "They are raiding our homes each day. They are stealing our money. At least one man from every home here has been detained. Saddam destroyed us, but the American's are destroying everything we have."

U.S. soldiers are still being lied to as well. Despite Bush administration claims that the Iraqi resistance would disappear with Saddam's capture, January was the second-deadliest month of the war for U.S. troops, with more than 40 killed.

For people like Elaine Johnson, Washington's lies come at the highest price. Last year, her son Darius joined the military. "It was either college, job or the military," Elaine said at a Democratic presidential forum in South Carolina last week. "He went to college, but he wasn't ready for college. There were no jobs in South Carolina, so he was forced to go into the military."

Darius was killed in Iraq in November--for no reason other than Washington's drive for oil and empire. Understandably, millions of people in the U.S. who were opposed to the war and occupation want to see Bush replaced with the "lesser evil" of a Democrat in the Oval Office.

But as Elaine Johnson told a reporter after the South Carolina forum, "All of the candidates said what we wanted to hear them say." While Democratic presidential candidates may be willing to criticize the invasion of Iraq after the fact, the top contenders all agree that the deadly U.S. occupation should continue.

But if the war was based on lies, so is the U.S. occupation--a brutal crackdown justified in the name of "democracy." The antiwar movement was right to oppose this war--and we're right to demand an end to occupation now.

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