Home » Posts tagged 'saddam hussein'

Tag Archives: saddam hussein

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

SCOTT RITTER: Powell & Iraq—Regime Change, Not Disarmament: The Fundamental Lie

SCOTT RITTER: Powell & Iraq—Regime Change, Not Disarmament: The Fundamental Lie

Regime change, not disarmament, was always the driving factor behind U.S. policy towards Saddam Hussein. Powell knew this because he helped craft the original policy.

The New York Times Magazine has published a puff piece soft-peddling former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s role in selling a war on Iraq to the UN Security Council using what turned out to be bad intelligence. “Colin Powell Still Wants Answers” is the title of the article, written by Robert Draper. “The analysts who provided the intelligence,” a sub-header to the article declares, “now say it was doubted inside the CIA at the time.”

Draper’s article is an extract from a book, To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq, scheduled for publication later this month. In the interest of full disclosure, I was approached by Draper in 2018 about his interest in writing this book, and I agreed to be interviewed as part of his research. I have not yet read the book, but can note that, based upon the tone and content of his New York Times Magazine article, my words apparently carried little weight.

Regime Change, Not WMD

I spent some time articulating to Draper my contention that the issue with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was never about weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but rather regime change, and that everything had to be viewed in the light of this reality—including Powell’s Feb. 5, 2003 presentation before the UN Security Council. Based upon the content of his article, I might as well have been talking to a brick wall.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

In order to understand today’s demonization of Vladimir Putin, one must go back to US President George W. Bush’s propaganda for “regime-change in Iraq” and demonization of Saddam Hussein at that time. The US regime now has come to recognize that with Putin’s high approval-ratings from the Russian public, the US aristocracy’s dream of fomenting Putin’s ouster by Russia’s voters will not work; and, so, all foreign leaders who cooperated with Russia, such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Viktor Yanukovych, and Bashar al-Assad, were first targeted by the US regime for “regime-change,” so as to isolate Russia and soften it up for the demanded US-takeover (‘democracy’, ‘free market’, etc., which Russia actually now already has, at least as much as America does); and, then, since that hasn’t yet worked, came the US aristocracy’s campaign to ‘protect The West’ by NATO troops and weapons surrounding Russia and forcing regime-change in Russia. It has escalated now to the point where World War III is more likely than ever it was during the Cold War.

Regime-change in Russia will thus either occur by the democratic vote of the Russian public at some distant time and produce a Russian Government that’s likely to be against the US regime in every possible way (which the current Russian Government is not), or else it will require a US-and-allied invasion of Russia, and that would destroy the world (but the US aristocracy want it anyway).

However, America’s aristocracy (or as they call it when referring to the same thing in low-income countries, “oligarchs”) — basically just its billionaires — are very impatient; they want to control the entire planet during their own lifetimes, and care little (if at all) about what will happen to the planet after they’re gone.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Road to Hell in the Middle East

Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Road to Hell in the Middle East

It’s already long forgotten here, but the theocratic regime in Iran was really our baby. After all, in 1953, the CIA and British intelligence engineered a coup to replace a democratic government in Iran with the autocratic Shah and so gave Iranians just what they didn’t want (including his creepy secret police, the Savak). In those days, however, blowback from such American acts didn’t arrive with the speed of the Internet. It took a quarter of a century for our man in Iran to go down and the theocrats to rise. They were, of course, born of us (as in the U.S.), but no one talks about that anymore.

Then Washington switched partners. The administration of Ronald Reagan found someone else in the region we could really admire, another strongman by the name of — does this ring a bell? — Saddam Hussein. He ruled Iraq, not Iran, and like the Saudis of today (and the Israelis of just about any time), he wanted to take out the Iranian theocrats. (How familiar does that sound now that Donald Trump has done his best to smash the Iran nuclear deal?) In 1980, Saddam launched a war of aggression against that country. As the U.S. military now helps the Saudis with targeting intelligence and weaponry in their brutal war in Yemen, so it then helped Saddam, targeting Iranian military contingents, even knowing that Saddam’s troops were likely to use chemical weapons against them. Five hundred thousand or so Iranians died in that invasion and the eight-year disaster of a war that followed. Then, in another curious reversal, Saddam suddenly became “Hitler,” the ultimate evil one. In 1990, the U.S. military (and its allies) drove his troops out of Kuwait, and in 2003 the administration of George W. Bush took him out completely.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Tries to Stir Up Trouble for Iran 

US Tries to Stir Up Trouble for Iran 

As President Trump’s foreign policy falls deeply under the Israeli-Saudi spell, his Mideast diplomats are stirring up conflict against Iran and drawing a rebuke from Iraq, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.


In Iraq, as in Syria, the imminent extinguishing of the mini-state of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) is raising the question of whether U.S. objectives in Iraq really are focused on countering ISIS or will balloon into some other reason to keep American forces there indefinitely.

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

The most common rationale voiced by those arguing for an indefinite stay is to counter Iranian influence. The rationale echoes larger alarms, being sounded by the Trump administration as well as others, about an Iran that supposedly is on the march and threatening to bring most of the Middle East under its sway. The alarms are filled with unsupported zero-sum assumptions about what any Iranian action or influence means for U.S. interests.

Those tempted to succumb to the alarms as they apply to Iraq should bear in mind two important realities about the Iraqi-Iranian relationship.

The first is that the biggest boost to Iranian influence in Iraq was the U.S. invasion of March 2003. The net effect of the whole costly, unpleasant history of the United States in Iraq — including the initial conquest, later surge, and all the ups and downs of occupation — as far as Iranian influence is concerned is to have made that influence much greater than it ever was while Saddam Hussein was still ruling Iraq.

If Iranian influence were the overriding worry about the Middle East that the rhetoric of the Trump administration makes it out to be, this record strongly suggests that an unending U.S. military expedition would not be a smart way to assuage that worry.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Inflating the Russian Threat

Inflating the Russian Threat


Readers of the New York Times have more to sweat about than hot summer weather in the Big Apple. The paper’s chief military correspondent, Michael Gordon — co-author of the infamous 2002 story about Saddam Hussein’s “quest for A-bomb parts” — has all but warned that war in Europe could break out at any minute with the mighty Russian army.

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

“Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer,” he reported last month with Eric Schmitt. Sounding like speechwriters for Sen. John McCain, they called the long-planned military exercises with Belarus — known as “Zapad” (Russian for “west”) — “one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War.”

Gordon and Schmitt added that this latest and greatest example of “Mr. Putin’s saber-rattling,” represents “the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union that so much offensive power has been concentrated in a single command.”

Many other Western news organizations have echoed this story, albeit with less alarmist rhetoric. NBC News warned that “another military challenge may be on the horizon” as “thousands of Russian troops and tanks are preparing to take part in what may be the country’s largest military exercise since the Cold War.”

Reciting the same talking points almost verbatim, the London Guardian reported days ago that “Russia is preparing to mount what could be one of its biggest military exercises since the Cold War.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Do Americans Live In A False Reality Created By Orchestrated Events?

Do Americans Live In A False Reality Created By Orchestrated Events?

Most people who are aware and capable of thought have given up on what is called the “mainstream media.” The presstitutes have destroyed their credibility by helping Washington to lie—“Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” “Iranian nukes,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” “Russian invasion of Ukraine,” and so forth. The “mainstream media” has also destroyed its credibility by its complete acceptance of whatever government authorities say about alleged “terrorist events,” such as 9/11 and Boston Marathon Bombing, or alleged mass shootings such as Sandy Hook and San Bernardino. Despite glaring inconsistencies, contradictions, and security failures that seem too unlikely to be believable, the “mainstream media” never asks questions or investigates. It merely reports as fact whatever authorities say.

The sign of a totalitarian or authoritarian state is a media that feels no responsibility to investigate and to find the truth, accepting the role of propagandist instead. The entire Western media has been in the propaganda mode for a long time. In the US the transformation of journalists into propagandists was completed with the concentration of a diverse and independent media in six mega-corporations that are no longer run by journalists.

As a consequence, thoughtful and aware people increasingly rely on alternative media that does question, marshall facts, and offers analysis in place of an unbelievable official story line.

The prime example is 9/11. Large numbers of experts have destroyed the official story that has no factual evidence in its behalf. However, even without the hard evidence that 9/11 truthers have provided, the official story gives itself away.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Saudis Are Stumbling – They May Take the Middle East With Them

The Saudis Are Stumbling – They May Take the Middle East With Them

America’s leading Sunni ally is proving how easily hubris, delusion, and old-fashioned ineptitude can trump even bottomless wealth

For the past eight decades Saudi Arabia has been careful.

Using its vast oil wealth, it’s quietly spread its ultra-conservative brand of Islam throughout the Muslim world, secretly undermined secular regimes in its region, and prudently kept to the shadows while others did the fighting and dying. It was Saudi money that fueled the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, underwrote Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran, and bankrolled Islamic movements and terrorist groups from the Caucasus to the Hindu Kush.

It wasn’t a modest foreign policy, but it was a discreet one.

Today that circumspect diplomacy is in ruins, and the House of Saud looks more vulnerable than it has since the country was founded in 1926. Unraveling the reasons for the current train wreck is a study in how easily hubris, delusion, and old-fashioned ineptness can trump even bottomless wealth.

Oil Slick

The kingdom’s first stumble was a strategic decision last fall to undermine competitors by scaling up its oil production and thus lowering the global price.

They figured that if the price of a barrel of oil dropped from over $100 to around $80, it would strangle competitors that relied on more expensive sources and new technologies, including the U.S. fracking industry, companies exploring the Arctic, and emergent producers like Brazil. That, in turn, would allow Riyadh to reclaim its shrinking share of the energy market. There was also the added benefit that lower oil prices would damage oil-reliant countries that the Saudis didn’t like – including Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Iran.

In one sense it worked. The American fracking industry is scaling back, the exploitation of Canada’s tar sands has slowed, and many Arctic drillers have closed up shop. And indeed, countries like Venezuela, Ecuador, and Russia have taken serious economic hits.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase