The West Virginia Gazette reports on the new wave of skepticism making inroads into the US Legislative branch. Maybe it's not too late to save responsible American patriotism from being overshadowed by the greed of politicians and corporations.
West Virginia’s Sen. Jay Rockefeller stirred a hornet nest this week by saying White House insiders twisted evidence four years ago to dupe America into backing President Bush’s plan to invade Iraq.
“They deliberately led the American people to war because they wanted to do that,” Rockefeller told CBS News. He called it “absolute cynical manipulation, deliberately cynical manipulation, to shape American public opinion.”
Afterward, West Virginia’s Sen. Robert C. Byrd followed with a blazing U.S. Senate floor speech saying the Bush administration, “by design and deception,” shifted the war on terror away from al-Qaeda to Iraq. ...
In 2000, while Clinton still was president, many of the same neoconservatives, as leaders of the Project for the New American Century, drafted a plan to use America’s colossal military might to impose U.S. interests around the world, especially in the oil-rich Iraq region. In addition to Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Perle, PNAC members included Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush and other Republicans allied to the Bush family.
Also in 2000, Bush aide Condoleezza Rice wrote a Foreign Affairs article calling for removal of the Saddam government in Iraq — and she told the Council on Foreign Relations that “regime change” in Iraq was needed. ...
After George W. Bush narrowly won the presidency in 2000, he began planning an Iraq invasion even before taking office. The New York Times reported on Jan. 11, 2001, that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and other insiders went to the Pentagon for a top-secret meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, mostly about Iraq.
After Bush entered the White House, secret efforts toward an Iraq attack began “from day one,” according to insider books by former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke.
Famously, Time reported that President Bush once told some U.S. senators visiting Rice at the White House, long before the Iraq invasion: “F—- Saddam, we’re taking him out.”
From all this, it’s clear that Bush insiders privately plotted the Iraq war for at least a decade. But they couldn’t induce Americans to back an unprovoked invasion of a little country that hadn’t attacked America — until a fluke of history made it possible. The Muslim suicide terrorist strike of Sept. 11, 2001, roused U.S. patriotism. Although none of the 9/11 fanatics were from Iraq, the White House implied that invading Iraq would avenge the national tragedy. Many Democrats in Congress couldn’t oppose the war cry, lest they seem unpatriotic.
Thus 9/11 enabled Bush to launch his Iraq war that had been planned in secret for years. Rockefeller was correct to call this a “cynical manipulation” of America. Byrd was correct to say the White House, “by design and deception,” shifted America’s focus off terrorism and onto Iraq.