As we go to press, the Bush administration ordered its predictable post-Christmas call-up of U.S. troops. President George W. Bush is busy resurrecting the discredited doctrine of “preventative” war to justify an attack on Iraq. “Preventative” war was last invoked by Nazi party leaders as a defense of their actions during the Nuremberg trials. The U.S. government is engaging in an unprecedented propaganda campaign to justify its invasion and occupation of Iraq. Our government’s plans to seize 119-billion barrels of known Iraqi oil reserves are conveniently ignored. Still, the reality of selling the Iraq war is proving difficult, especially since Iraq has no nuclear weapons, and its only known link to biochemical weapons were those supplied by the U.S. and its allies during the 1980s.

While the U.S. points fingers at Iraq, the press routinely reports that the Bush’s chief Islamic ally in the region, Pakistan, provided the nuclear technology to North Korea. So, Pakistan, a major nuclear power, with direct ties to Al Qaeda and the North Korean nuclear weapons program, is not a threat according to Bush.

At Bush’s insistence, the United Nations Security Council (U.N.) passed Resolution 1441 on November 8, 2002. A preambulatory clause in Resolution 1441 references: “…the threat Iraq’s noncompliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security.” A key operative clause in Resolution 1441 required Iraq, “…not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, [to submit] a current, accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons….” The resolution endorses unrestricted access by U.N. weapons inspectors to any Iraqi sites and “…warns Iraq that it will face serious consequences…for failure to comply.” The resolution stands in sharp contrast to a lack of similar actions that could have been taken against the U.S., Pakistan or the state of Israel, all with well-documented weapons of mass destruction programs.

Iraq had until November 15 to pledge compliance. Iraq complied with the inspections. By December 8, Iraq, as required, provided the U.N. weapons inspectors and the Security Council “…with a complete declaration of all aspects of its chemical, biological and nuclear programs.”

Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, argues that, “This sets Iraq up with a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation. If they claim they have no WMD [weapons of mass destruction] material to declare, Washington will find that evidence of the continuing ‘breach’ based on the U.S. assertion that Iraq does have viable WMD programs. If Iraq actually declares viable WMD programs, it similarly proves the U.S. claim of continuing breach of resolution 687.”

Richard Perle, Chairman of the U.S. Defense Policy Board, underscored Bennis’ assertion when he confessed to the British Parliament that the U.S. plans to attack Iraq even if UN weapons inspectors gave the country a “clean bill of health,” reported the Britian’s Mirror on November 24. Perle’s admission caused Peter Kilfoyle, MP, a former Defense Minister, to remark, “America is duping the world into believing it supports these inspections. President Bush intends to go to war even if inspections find nothing.”

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card told NBC’s Meet The Press: “We have the authority by the President’s desire to protect and defend the U.S. of America. The U.N. can meet and discuss but we don’t need their permission.” With the U.S. and UK enforcing a no-fly zone over approximately two-thirds of Iraqi territory, the case for strong action against Iraq remains puzzling.

The U.S. rationale for Resolution 1441

U.S. President George W. Bush outlined his case against Saddam Hussein and Iraq to the American people in a televised speech on Monday, October 7, 2002. Bush warned of the “clear evidence of peril” if Iraq decided to give chemical and biological weapons to terrorists. Bush did discuss the perils involved with the U.S.’s prior policy of giving biological and chemical weapons to Saddam in the 1980s. On the same day Bush was presenting his charges against Iraq to the American people, CIA Director George Tenet wrote a letter to Congress explaining that “Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or C.B.W. [chemical or biological warfare] against the U.S. Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions.”

The CIA’s former head of counterintelligence told the London Guardian that: “Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements and there’s a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among analysts at the CIA.” CIA Director Tenet’s assessment stands in direct contrast to President Bush’s assertion in his October 7 speech that “Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists.”

The U.K.’s Sunday Herald detailed “Why the CIA Thinks Bush is Wrong” noting that Tenet’s October 7 letter specifically spelled out that Bush’s invasion policy might have adverse consequences: “Saddam might decide that the extreme step of assisting Islamic terrorists in conducting a WMD attack against the U.S. would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him.”

Thus, the new Bush doctrine establishes that any country possessing weapons of mass destruction or alternatively, chemical and biological weapons, and possibly motivated to attack another nation at some unforeseen time in the future, should be subjected to preventative strikes by the U.S. unilaterally or after failure to comply with an U.N. Security Council resolution demanding immediate inspections.

Between the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the U.S. Pentagon, and Bush’s October 7, 2002 speech, the U.S. had attempted to establish a casus belli for attacking Iraq despite the Bush’s administration assertion that the September 11 attacks were perpetrated by Saddam Hussein’s sworn enemy and arch-rival Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network.

Reporter Gary Leupp noted that “First they [the U.S.] seized upon the story, which initially surfaced in a Newsweek report on September 19th [2001] that there had been a meeting between hijacker Mohammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence officers, including Farouk Hijaze, Iraq’s ambassador to Turkey in Prague in June of 2000.” Leupp points out that had not “both British and Czech intelligence services” publicly “refuted” the story, the U.S. may have had justification for retaliating against Iraq. Moreover, Leupp suggests that the early U.S. attempts to link the anthrax attack to Iraqi laboratories, later discounted, was the U.S. in search of a cause, any cause, for war. Francis A. Boyle, a University of Illinois professor of law, points out, “There is no evidence that Iraq was involved in the events on September 11. … They are fishing around for some other justification to go to war with Iraq. They have come up with the doctrine of preemptive attack.” Boyle notes that the doctrine of preemptive attack “was rejected by the Nuremberg tribunal” after lawyers for Nazi defendants used it to defend the actions of Germany’s Third Reich.

James Rubin, the Assistant Secretary of State during the Clinton administration, analyzed the dangers of President Bush’s new national security strategy in October 2002. He wrote: “The problem with the Bush document is that it appears to make first strikes the rule rather than the exception.”

While the Bush administration stressed its multilateralism by pointing to the U.N. Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 1441, The New York Times reported that prior to the adoption of the resolution, U.S. pilots were already bombing southern Iraq on practice runs. The Times reported, “Now, the Navy pilots gain combat experience when they police the no-flight zone. They have the chance to practice bombing tactics when the Iraqis refrain from firing at the patrols and to hone their skills in case of war.”

With such U.S. tactics, it’s not surprising that the Washington Post reported that “Fear of U.S. Power Shapes Iraq Debate.” In August 2002, a Knight Ridder article disclosed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s staff had created a special planning unit for the invasion of Iraq. The story detailed how Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was working with a group primarily composed of civilians to launch an invasion of Iraq.

“The Bush administration began its campaign for a new resolution at about the same time it unveiled its national security doctrine, which outlines the concept of preemptive action to counter perceived threats. The new doctrine unnerved even close allies who feared that the world’s only superpower no longer felt bound by the international rules established after World War II,” according to the Washington Post.

Why the U.N. Security Council should sanction the U.S.

By applying the Bush administra-tion’s new doctrine of preemptive military strikes, a strong case can be made that the U.N. Security Council needs to take action against the U.S. First, there’s ample evidence that the U.S. government or its intelligence apparatus created and protected Osama bin Laden prior to the 9/11 attacks. Professor Michael Chossudovsky, a Osama bin Laden biographer and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, holds that, “Lost in the barrage of recent history, the role of the CIA in supporting and developing international terrorist organizations during the Cold War and its aftermath is casually ignored or downplayed by the Western media ….”

Richard Labeviere echoes these sentiments in his book Dollars for Terror: The U.S. and Islam. Relying heavily on European intelligence sources, Labeviere argues that Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network was “nurtured and encouraged by the U.S. intelligence community, especially during the Clinton years.” He further asserts that Osama “…was protected because the network was designed to serve U.S. foreign policy and military interests.” By taking a broader geostrategic approach, Labeviere contends that, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”

If the U.N. Security Council would focus on U.S. relationships to bin Laden rather than more dubious links between Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and his arch-rival, a case could be made for U.N. Security Council action against the U.S. The authoritative Jane’s Intelligence Digest reported that, “Back in March [2001] Moscow’s Permanent Mission at the U.N. submitted to the U.N. Security Council an unprecedentedly detailed report on Al-Qaeda’s terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan but the U.S. government opted not to act.”

The French daily Le Figaro ironically owned by the U.S. defense contractor the Carlyle Group, that employs former president George H.W. Bush, reported in October 2001 that Osama bin Laden received treatment at the American hospital in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates, in July 2001. Moreover, Le Figaro reported that Osama bin Laden met with a top CIA official while being treated at the American hospital. The Le Figaro article raises the question of how bin Laden, eligible for execution for his alleged attacks on the U.S.S. Cole and the deaths of U.S. sailors, could reportedly fly out of Dubai on a private jet with no Navy fighters waiting to force him down and take him into custody.

The Toronto Star suggested that, “One possible conclusion is that the bin Laden terror problem was allowed to get out of hand because bin Laden, himself, had powerful protectors in both Washington and Saudi Arabia.” There’s enough evidence for the Security Council to investigate U.S. ties to bin Laden and Al Qaeda as well as to look into whether or not the U.S. Department of Defense was planning a preemptive strike against Iraq before any legal basis was established under international law. By Bush administration standards, the U.S. may have created a precedent that could be later used against itself for its long-standing relationships with bin Laden that reportedly continued until less than two months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Since the Bush administration’s efforts have proved successful in pressuring the U.N. Security Council to adopt Resolution 1441 regarding weapons inspections in Iraq and is concerned about Iraq’s possible possession of chemical and biological weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, the body might want to inspect on the same terms any nation historically working in conjunction with Iraq’s chemical and biological program. In September 2002, U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-West Virginia), went public with documents obtained from the federal government establishing the U.S. government’s role in the development of Iraq’s biochemical program in the 1980s.

Byrd told the Charleston Gazette “We have in our hands the equivalent of a Betty Crocker cookbook of ingredients that the U.S. allowed Iraq to obtain and that may well have been used to concoct biological weapons.” Between 1985 and 1988, following the approval of the U.S. government, the nonprofit American Type Culture Collection sent eleven shipments to Iraq that included anthrax, botulinum toxin and gangrene. Also, between January 1980 and October 1993, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) shipped a variety of biological and toxic specimens to Iraq including West Nile virus and Dengue fever, according to the Gazette article.

Senator Byrd’s release of information followed statements from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that he had no knowledge of any such shipments in testimony before the Arms Services Committee. In 1984, a United Nations report alleged that chemical weapons had been used by Iraq against Iran. The New York Times reported from Baghdad that, then, former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld was in Iraq as an envoy for President George H.W. Bush. The Times wrote, “American diplomats pronounced themselves satisfied with relations between Iraq and the U.S. and suggest that normal diplomatic ties have been restored in all but name.”

U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich wrote that “During the administration of Ronald Reagan, sixty helicopters were sold to Iraq. Later reports said Iraq used U.S.-made helicopters to spray Kurds with chemical weapons. According to the Washington Post, Iraq used mustard gas against Iran with the help of intelligence from the CIA.” In a forthcoming paper in the scientific journal Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Professor of International Security Malcolm Dando and Mark Wheelis, a microbiologist, put forth the thesis that U.S. actions are undermining the 1972 biological weapons conventions in order to continue secret U.S. research on biological weapons. “They also point to the paradox of the U.S. developing such weapons at a time when it is proposing military action against Iraq on the grounds that Iraq is breaking international treaties,” wrote the Guardian in a preview of the forthcoming article. Thus, there’s more than enough evidence to merit an inspection of U.S. sites possibly involved with the Iraqi biological and chemical weapons program.

The U.S. poses a much greater threat to the world than Iraq through its weapons of mass destruction programs and delivery systems. If the U.N. Security Council compares Iraq, currently with no nuclear arsenal, to the U.S., with an extensive military nuclear arsenal, then Resolution 1441 applies more to the U.S. than Iraq. The U.S. is also the only nation to have ever used atomic weapons against another country, targeting two civilian population centers during World War II.

Appears in Issue: