Is America Changing, Again?
By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
May 27, 2004
A changing Iraq, a changing alliance. The former "best friend of America" has recently fallen from grace. He and his political organization Iraqi National Congress is termed as the traitors, the double agents, passing ultra secretive U.S. intelligence regarding Iraq to Iran. Even there are direct allegations arising from the CIA that Chalabi and his associates duped Americans by providing false WMD evidences that boosted the neoconservative segments of Pentagon, that eventually led to this chaotic devastating war in Iraq causing thousands of deaths and injuries on both sides, rousing militancy around the world, "have neither increased security nor ensured liberty" to the Americans nor to the international community.
From the beginning many in the U.S. and abroad observed the tug of war between the rational parts of American policy makers, intelligence, and military and the hawkish and messianic neoconservatives in Pentagon and others in the Bush administration. The chaos regarding Mr. Chalabi indicates the increasing trend of that struggle. The
"By calling for an FBI counter-intelligence investigation, the CIA is, in effect, threatening to disgrace senior neo-conservatives in the Pentagon. This is people who opposed the war with long knives drawn for people who supported the war".
America is struggling in breaking down the strong shackles imposed by the neocons but America with more than two hundred years of democracy perhaps is on the way of defeating the real "dark forces" entrenched as indivisible invisibility cloaked secretive power blocks.
In his Army college speech Mr. Bush yesterday said the following:
"Iraq now faces a critical moment. As the Iraqi people move closer to governing themselves, the terrorists are likely to become more active and more brutal."
Brutality comes from opposing groups. The wedding-day massacre, killings of hundreds of innocent men, women and children in Fallujah aftermath the burning death of four American contractors, the infamous Abu Ghraib prison scandals, merciless beheading of an American businessman, the daily devastations all over Iraq, surely indicate more brutal aggressions by the occupiers and equally vicious responses by the Iraqi resistance fighters that Mr. Bush has termed as the terrorists.
Terror is the arsenal of war. Brutality is the lifeblood of battles. Terrorizing Iraqis in armored vehicles, roaring tanks or in sound barrier defying fighter jets with thousand pound bombs are the same inhumanity shown by the opposing groups in beheading innocent Americans, killing and injuring incalculable number of Iraqis and other foreign nationals and soldiers in numerous suicide bombings or armed ambushes.
But the war in Iraq was designed and delivered by the neocons of Bush administration that American retired General Anthony Zinny termed as the following:
"we had to create a false rationale for going in to get public support. Books were cooked, in my mind. The intelligence was not there. I testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee one month before the war, and Senator Lugar asked me: "General Zinni, do you feel the threat from Saddam Hussein is imminent?" I said: "No, not at all. It was not an imminent threat. Not even close. Not grave, gathering, imminent, serious, severe, mildly upsetting, none of those."
In his Army college speech, Bush had once again linked the Iraq war with his fumbling of words like "ricin", "orange alert" or "dirty bombs", but was yet again taciturn in not acknowledging that there are no relations between 911 and Iraq. Repeatedly in his previous speeches and by careful orchestrated deliverance by his associates American people were told the fib, and thus still many erroneously believes that Iraq was responsible for the 911 attack.
And the kind of Iraqi sovereignty Bush described was tragically comical. Mathew Rothschild of The Progressives surmised it well:
What kind of sovereignty is it that has a massive foreign army in its midst?
And what kind of sovereignty is it that has to accept the new currency that Bush's viceroy Paul Bremer introduced?
And what kind of sovereignty is it that has to accept the privatization of the economy that Bush insisted upon? Bush lauded the Iraqi Governing Council for approving a law Washington drafted "that opens the country to foreign investment for the first time in decades." This law allows for 100 percent repatriation of profits: a dream come true for U.S. corporations.
Bush said "the U.S. occupation will end" on June 30--but it will still be a de facto U.S. occupation.
He played up the prospects of the interim government that U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is feverishly trying to cobble together.
But Bush gave no reason why the turnover of power will go smoothly. Quite the contrary: He said there will be more violence before and after the turnover. And he provided no realistic basis for expecting that the resistance to the U.S. occupation will fade.
Sydney Blumenthal, the former senior advisor to President Clinton says the following in his recent The Guardian opinion column:
At a conservative thinktank in downtown Washington, and across the Potomac at the Pentagon, FBI agents have begun paying quiet calls on prominent neoconservatives, who are being interviewed in an investigation of potential espionage, according to intelligence sources. Who gave Ahmed Chalabi classified information about the plans of the US government and military?
This is long overdue. At least now the American consciousness that's been suppressed for so long by the neocons with their daily overdose of fear mongering and falsity have begun to get the scrutiny it had deserved way before the disastrous war in Iraq. This is the reason that John Ashcroft did not get a clean slate in his brandishing "seven terrorists" and their photographs in a press conference, he was asked whether this could be construed as another "scare-tactics"? Many have dared to raise questions like the timing of the announcement appeared intended in part to distract attention from Mr. Bush's sagging poll numbers and problems in Iraq.
These are serious questions. How come Chalabi the convicted charlatan whom CIA and other U.S. agencies already knew about who had dubious integrity got so much prominent space in American powerful leadership?
The Iraqi neocon favourite, tipped to lead his liberated country post-invasion, has been identified by the CIA and Defence Intelligence Agency as an Iranian double-agent, passing secrets to that citadel of the "axis of evil" for decades.
A double-agent passing secrets to the Iranians and the world's most awesome intelligence agency could not figure it out in time, sounds itself to be another form of misleading. Maybe many in the intelligence community already knew about this. Maybe they were forced not to take the prudent steps in the frenzy of oncoming war that's been decided beforehand.
he fed them a steady diet of disinformation and in the run-up to the war sent various exiles to nine nations' intelligence agencies to spread falsehoods about weapons of mass destruction. If the administration had wanted other material to provide a rationale for invasion, no doubt that would have been fabricated. Either Chalabi perpetrated the greatest con since the Trojan horse, or he was the agent of influence for the most successful intelligence operation conducted by Iran, or both.
Is this possible? With Chalabi's defamed reputation already widespread among many, how come the CIA and Pentagon could not figure out the cooked books on intelligence? Unless there is a certain degree of willingness and over zealous helping hands provided by the neocons or the Ayatollahs in Washington who are waiting for the return of their messiah in earnest, would go to any length, would do anything, possible or impossible, to uphold thousands of years old scriptures, quite similar to the defeated long bearded Talibans.
Last week, Powell declared "it turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading. And for that I'm disappointed, and I regret it". But who had "deliberately" misled him? He did not say. Now the FBI is investigating espionage, fraud and, by implication, treason.
One of the saddest effects from this lie and deception promulgated and spiced up war was the shattering of immense credibility that Colin Powell had accumulated in the international community over many years of his dedicated service. Once upon a time, even in the remote nations, Powell's name was taken with the utmost respect. And now all of his credibility have evaporated along with America's last one century of arduous work in framing the international law, justice and the universal fairness in preserving human rights.
Setting the record straight, more than a year too late, The New York Times apologized yesterday in an editorial article, acknowledging the following:
we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged or failed to emerge.
Editors at several levels who should have been challenging reporters and pressing for more skepticism were perhaps too intent on rushing scoops into the paper. Accounts of Iraqi defectors were not always weighed against their strong desire to have Saddam Hussein ousted. Articles based on dire claims about Iraq tended to get prominent display, while follow-up articles that called the original ones into question were sometimes buried. In some cases, there was no follow-up at all.
Evidences that could prove the hoaxes of war rationale were deeply buried, or never had seen the days of light.
Seattle Post Intelligencer points that whenever journalists had raised the legitimacy issue of Iraq war, the Bush administration had thrown the "accomplice" term to denigrate the nay-Sayers.
The Bush administration found the press, including those critical of the operation, as willing accomplices. Even when we questioned the war's legitimacy, we continued to hold back any outright challenge to the validity of intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction.
The P-I Editorial board said last June, for example, that the search for weapons in Iraq was a test of our principles. "It's very likely -- even probable -- that some illegal cache of weapons will be found. But we wonder, is that enough?"
Now, at least, we know the answer. We don't think it was enough. But the American press should have not been so quick to accept the anonymous spin from the sources who wanted war.
Now that they have apparently learned their lesson, the duped American press, would they change their course from their censored journalism?
The Hollow Crown
everyone in the line of fire motioning toward the chain of command, spiralling upwards and sideways, until the finger pointing in a phalanx is directed at the hollow crown.
The hollow crown, perhaps a fitting description to the power pulpit where the bucks stop, the invisible and visible "insiders" who had contributed in leading U.S. into this bloody war, incurring thousands of deaths of Iraqi men, women and children, deaths of high school or college graduate American soldiers, badly paid Iraqi soldiers, the loss of so many precious lives from so many other nations and diplomats, and for what? For the ruthless fraud, vanity, and oh yes, for the promised Armageddon. And the Armageddon seems to be creeping in, with ample incitements in the Muslim world, the cry for revenge, eye for an eye, blood for blood, in the ranks of malicious Al-Qaeda who feel jubilant in every infringement of human rights, in every bloodshed that only indulge their murderous claim, soar their swelling human resource department.
Let us hope that America's core values that are betrayed and forcefully and playfully suppressed for the last few years with imposed fears, distortion of facts and dishonest politics, would be woken up once more to rinse itself from thickened scum, like the brownish stuff on a prisoner's body in Abu Ghraib photos, for the sake of mercy.
Mercy to the impoverished world. Mercy to the untold innocent millions waiting in line to be shredded and incinerated by bombs and vengeance in an increasingly crazy, wacky world.
Karim (Sohel) is a freelance writer. His email address is:
at yahoo dot com
daily commentary can be accessed from the following blog: http://sohelkarim.blogspot.com