<%-- Page Title--%> Chintito <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 141 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

February 13, 2004

<%-- Navigation Bar--%>
<%-- Navigation Bar--%>

(Weapons of Mass Deception)

By Chintito

The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq

(with an apology to its authors Sheldon Rampton and John C. Stauber)

Despite the promise made in the last episode, my thoughts on the trophies and traumas of being a cabinet minister (full, ½ or ¼) must wait, as we have an update on someone who already is.

AP's Military Writer Robert Burns reports from Washington that US Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said on February 4 he is not ready to conclude that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction (WMD) before U.S. troops invaded to depose Saddam Hussein last year. But, Rumsfeld, with that pretext you have already killed thousands of innocent civilians, women and children included.

Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee that U.S. weapons inspectors need more time to reach final conclusions about whether chemical and biological weapons existed in Iraq before the war, as the Bush administration had asserted before sending American troops into battle. Did the men, women and children who were indiscriminately murdered by US forces under your command, Rumsfield, have any time?

Rumsfeld now admits that pre-war intelligence was possibly flawed in some respects. Would it not be amusing if Al-Qaeda comes up with a similar statement that their pre-9/11 intelligence was possibly flawed in some respects? That they thought the twin towers were unoccupied and derelict?

Earlier David Kay of the Iraqi Survey Group told Congress last week that he believed it was now clear that U.S. intelligence on Iraq's weapons programmerimarily, vitally) flawed. These are Americans talking, not some 'illiterate and fanatic' Muslim, and therefore 'terrorist' in the eyes of the bigoted.

British PM Tony Blair conceded on Feb 4, according to AFP, that there was no sign in Iraq of the banned weapons he had expected to be found. But Blair, you cannot possibly find something that never existed.

Blair goes on: "I am not ashamed of taking the decision to go to war." You did not decide to go to war, Blair. You blindly followed a somewhat blimpish Bush and now even he is blaming the British intelligence for the emerging flaws, because his corner is tightening.

The Labour leader goes on: "... this country and its armed forces should be proud of what we have achieved". Proud of killing innocent civilians? Even Al-Qaeda, alleged to have plotted the 9/11 massacre, have not come up with such a tactless and thoughtless claim. All you have achieved is to overthrow a dictator in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Surely for that you need not have killed so many of your men and that of another.

Let us analyse WMD.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition 2000 defines "weapon" as, 'An instrument of attack or defence in combat, as a gun, missile, or sword'. Microsoft Encarta defines "weapon" as a "device designed to inflict injury or death on an opponent ". The American dictionaries have been chosen lest you warmongers question its authenticity.

"Mass" is a large but unspecified number or quantity of people either in Afghanistan (GNP $1.86 billion), Iraq (GNP $42.3 billion), UK (GNP $1040.5 billion) or USA (GNP $5880.7 billion).

"Destruction" is described as the act of destroying or the condition of having been destroyed.

Thus, by employing instruments of attack on a large body of people, number unspecified, in Afghanistan and Iraq to partake in an act of destroying, inflicting injury or death on their chosen opponent, Bush and Blair are guilty of being WMD. Together the couple has perhaps killed more people in Afghanistan and Iraq than terrorism has worldwide.

Now B&B alliance are saying their intelligence was wrong. Some grammatical correction is in order. It was not wrong. It IS wrong. One wonders why people with such low intelligence wish to vie for top political posts in the UK and the USA. I thought that was our prerogative.

Let us assume that the dreaded Al-Qaeda comes up with similar crap, that their intelligence was wrong. Would you Bush, Blair, Rice, Straw, Rumsfeld... exonerate this unseen factor/threat/terrorist entity from their alleged involvement in 9/11? So why do you assume the future will let you off?

Rumsfeld tried to explain why no weapons have been discovered in Iraq, starting with the possibility that banned arms never existed. (AP) "I suppose that's possible, but not likely," he said. So will you go on your hands and knees door to door to the weeping parents (in the USA, UK, Iraq and Afghanistan) who have lost their children and beg to be excused? Will it be acceptable if the perpetrators of the terrible destruction of the World Trade Centre explained likewise about not finding, say the guy they were looking for because he never existed? Imagine Bin Laden saying: "I suppose that's possible, but not likely."

Other possibilities cited by Rumsfeld as to why no weapons have been discovered in Iraq: (AP)

"Weapons may have been transferred to a third country before U.S. troops arrived in March," opined Rumsfeld. Believing in that will give the US and their English-speaking chamchas the hallowed excuse of attacking yet another third country. So watch out any poor, defenceless nation.

"Weapons may have been dispersed throughout Iraq and hidden," says Rumsfeld. But pray where, Mr. Rumsfeld, where? It's sheer rum that you have not found even an iota of harmful chemicals.

Said Rumsfeld, "Weapons existed but were destroyed by the Iraqis before the war started". So can you at least show us some remnants of that act of destruction? Or, possibly produce someone who had heard something? Or smelt it? Or saw dead animals lying around in the raam fields (meaning big as in raam-chagol) that you have scoured.

Or, Rumsfeld postulated, "small quantities" of chemical or biological agents may have existed, along with a "surge capability" that would allow Iraq to rapidly build an arsenal of banned weapons. Commenting on that possibility, Rumsfeld said, "We may eventually find it in the months ahead." You should have been a spy thriller novelist instead of a politician, not that there is much difference between the two. That's a one too many 'may' in the statement of a statesman. Rest assured you will find them as soon as you manage to plant them. But don't tell them you did it because I told you. See how the British Intel is being blamed!

Lastly, Rumsfeld offered the possibility that the issue of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction "may have been a charade" orchestrated by the Iraqi government. It is even possible, he said, that Saddam was "tricked" by his own people into believing he had banned weapons that did not exist. Saddam believed? You did too. That's why you attacked, remember? Tricked were the US and the UK government for that matter. Sly Saddam made you believe months before what you now believe he was made to believe.

Unfortunately, Senator Edward Kennedy, Democrat from Massachusetts, and other Democrats on the committee reminded Rumsfeld that in September 2002 he said "we (Rumsfeld) know" where weapons of mass destruction are stored in Iraq. Explaining that remark, Rumsfeld told the panel that he was referring to suspected weapons sites, but he acknowledged that he had made it sound like he was talking about actual weapons. You need to lie many times to cover one lie.

The Kay team, known as the Iraqi Survey Group, did confirm one thing, Rumsfeld said: "The intelligence community got it essentially right" with regard to Iraq's ballistic missile programs. It found that Iraq was working on missiles of longer range than was permitted under U.N. sanctions. "Was working" is a lame excuse when dealing with innocent human lives. And since when have large self-propelled projectiles been classified as WMD? In that case what number does the USA possess of the same? You are not bound to answer that question on account of State secrecy.

Rumsfeld also said he saw a possibility that Iraq managed to hide some banned weapons of mass destruction. Is seeing a ''possibility" good enough reason for indiscriminate killing? He said that it took 10 months to find Saddam Hussein and that the hole in which he was found on Dec. 13 "was big enough to hold biological weapons to kill thousands" of people.

I shall now confront you with a dhaada, a quiz, Rumsfeld. What gets bigger the more you take out? As an American you may see some quick profit in that venture, but the answer is 'a hole'. Taking out Saddam from one can only make it bigger. The threat to US and British soldiers is definitely bigger since.

"Such objects (biological weapons), once buried, can stay buried," Rumsfeld said. So also should the alleged threat of WMD because you seem to have embarked on scripting an unholy crusade to destroy humankind.

Till date the American and British soldiers have killed thousands of innocent people on false pretence. Hundreds of American and British men have died since Bush declared the war over in Iraq. In fact, fewer died in the so-called war. After all this, Bush, quickly and predictably followed by Blair, has the impertinence to come up with the derogatory proposal of calling an inquiry. That's it! It's that simple! The lives of non-Americans and non-Brits are just that? To the Lord it is not! You will be punished most severely for Allah does not forgive transgressors.

On the other side of the coin, humanity is proud of the more than 80 percent of TV channel Sky News viewers in the UK who voted to say they believed the BBC as opposed to Blair's government. More and more principled Americans and Britons are raising their voice against two derailed leaders who have ruined their country's reputation, credibility and integrity, values that their forefathers have cultured (so they believe) for centuries. Do not let two mere mortals destroy humanity any further.

In one protest march, I am sure I saw a big spelling mistake. The marcher, possibly in a hurry, spelt B-LIAR. Even Blair, propped up briefly after his government was cleared of the Kelly killing connection, should start thinking who they meant.

As far as the very poorly written Hutton report goes, I thought only one Bangladeshi judge had taken a bribe to bend his judgement.



(C) Copyright The Daily Star. The Daily Star Internet Edition, is published by The Daily Star