Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Obama’s Berlin Speech Reveals Europeans Gutless On Terror

July 26, 2008

Correspondent Major Garrett filed this report for Fox News Special Report that appeared Thursday, July 25, on Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin, Germany:

MAJOR GARRETT: The scene, unprecedented in contemporary European politics, was unlike any a U.S. presidential nominee ever had the audacity to expect, or the cultural candlepower to attract. But to the upbeat throngs estimated by Berlin police to be in excess of 200,000 Obama did not sing a sweet song of hope and change. Instead he zeroed in on the threats of terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

OBAMA SPEECH VIDEO: “This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.”

MAJOR GARRETT: That means Germany and other NATO nations must throw more into the battlefield in Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban and its terror-plotting al Qaeda allies have recently launched increasingly lethal attacks.”

As for Iran and its headlong pursuit of nuclear weaponry, Obama said While Europe may welcome his call for direct unconditional talks, europe must back such an initiative with a heretofore missing committment to using all economic and diplomatic tools to isolate and punish Iran if it proves intractable.

OBAMA SPEECH VIDEO: “This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East. My country must stand with yours and with Europe in sending a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions. We must support the Lebanese who have marched and bled for democracy, and the Israelis and Palestinians who seek a secure and lasting peace. And despite past differences, this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close.”

“A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more — not less.”

MAJOR GARRETT: On a continent weary of Pres. Bush Obama spoke of a new era, but hastened to add, if he’s elected, his administration will not represent a cost-free alternative to the status-quo.

The crowd, which did not applaud that much, filed quietly away. If Obama hoped his words would galvanize the audience and his message would thereby reverberate in capitals throughout Europe, there was no evidence of it. The tepid response may stand as a silent declaration that calls for new sacrifice and anti-terror tenacity – whether spoken by the current president or the presumptive Democratic nominee – meets similar European skepticism.

Garrett noted that Obama’s speech did garner some applause lines – on the issues of global warming, a call for “just peace” between Israel and the Palestinas, and especially on the call to end the war in Iraq.

But the real story was the absence of applause on Obama’s presentation of his foreign policy.

One of the biggest delusions Democrats suffer from is the perception that if only their guy were president, the world would love us. They believe that Europeans hate President Bush because he’s a cowboy who ignored them and decided to do it all on his own.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

We saw a little bit of the real problem in Berlin on Thursday: if Barack Obama wants to stand up to terrorists and demand Iran renounce its nuclear weaponry, he better expect that he will be acting alone.

Europeans are not willing to sacrifice. They don’t want to “renew their resolve to rout the terrorists.” They don’t want to have a stake in seeing the NATO mission in Afghanistan is a success. They don’t want to send troops to Afghanistan. They don’t want to send “a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions.” They don’t want to commit to “using all economic and diplomatic tools to isolate and punish Iran.” They don’t want to “be required to do more–not less.”

Now, personally, I don’t really believe that Barack Obama wants any of this either. I think he was simply pandering to American public opinion and mouthing the slogans that Americans want to hear from a man they rightly believe is weak on foreign policy.

But don’t expect squat from Europe if you want to stand up and act in order to secure a better and safer world.

I came across an interesting article titled, “Why Europeans Doubt Colombia’s Hostage Rescue,” that sheds some light on European’s attitude.

The story presents the fact that European papers and television across the continent were presenting and believing the myth that Columbia bribed the terrorist organization FARC to release the hostages, and the rescue by the army was just a ruse. It provides details of how France, Denmark, Italy, Germany, and Spain have paid one ransom after another for hostages. And then it concludes:

European friends of the FARC are angry. How dare Colombia join the ranks of Britain, Israel, and the United States by refusing to negotiate with terrorists? How dare Colombia disprove the European mantra that all conflicts be resolved through diplomacy? How dare Colombia upstage post-heroic Europeans who, having lost the will to fight, believe anything can be bought for money?

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe summed it up well: “There are some who are bitter and who are seeking to discredit the operation. But these bitter people only know Colombia from afar. Aloof Europeans, what do they know about Colombian ingenuity? They believe that Colombian genius lies with the FARC. Someday they will know these military boys who carried out this operation.”

The fact of the matter is that Europe looks at diplomacy, negotiation, and compromise as end-all solutions. Look at what they have accomplished, they would argue: we formed our European Union on the basis of compromise. We who were former enemies united; why can’t we likewise come together with opponents such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran?

What they don’t realize is that the United States of America has a rather enormous advantage of experience in the process of “uniting,” having done so nearly two centuries before Europe got into the act; that Americans aren’t much interested in hearing moral lectures on politics from the inventors of monarchism, communism, fascism, Nazism, and socialism; that the only reason Europeans aren’t speaking first German and after that Russian is because the United States stood up and fought for their freedom; and that Europeans ought to be therefore grateful enough and generous enough to stand with the United States as we continue to fight for the freedom of other oppressed peoples.

What Europeans have conveniently forgotten is that their freedom was won for them, and not by them. What they have forgotten was that their diplomacy, negotiation, and compromise didn’t mean squat to the Nazis or the Soviets; only American power and our willingness to use it mattered to these determined enemies of human freedom.

If Barack Obama becomes president (and, I must admit, there’s a part of me – and I’m ashamed to admit this – that wants Obama to get elected so that everyone can see just how spectacularly liberalism will fail) he will be shocked to discover that Europe will be nothing but an obstacle to his every effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

An article titled “Why Europe Won’t Sanction Iran” provides a lot of the underlying reasons for this behavior.

The reason President Bush ultimately was forced to attack Iraq was because France and Russia did everything they could to prevent any meaningful sanctions being applied to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in a corrupted and incompetent United Nations. We had good reasons for believing that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD, and were frustrated at every turn by Europe in obtaining the tough sanctions that would have forced Saddam to open up his program to inspection. Unable to obtain a diplomatic solution, we were forced to either attack or risk a WMD-armed Iraq.

And Russia and China are doing the same thing now in protecting Iran even as it is almost certainly developing a nuclear weapons program.

We’re going to see the same demand to let diplomacy and sanctions work – even as every meaningful effort at diplomacy and sanctions is thwarted; we’re going to see the same aversion to war – even as war becomes the only option; we’re going to see the same international condemnation and isolation all over again.

Or we’re going to see a nuclear-armed Iran that will be free to carry out terrorist campaigns by proxy and even shut down the Strait of Hormuz at will with absolute impunity.

Europeans have largely degenerated into Nietzsche’s portrayal of the “Last Man,” the end result of decades of creeping cynicism and mediocrity.

Today, Europeans are frankly both pathetic and apathetic. They won’t stand up for anything; they won’t fight for anything. The people who are literally dying out due to extremely low birth rates don’t care if they are consuming benefits paid for by massive debt that will crush the next generations after them. And their most cherished desire is that the mighty United States would be as weak, as pathetic, and as insignificant as they are.

Americans would have a different view of the world – and a different view of President George Bush – if they learned that lesson. It may take the election of a liberal president, and the crisis of a nuclear Iran, to drive that reality home.

Just Another Day in An America-Despising World

July 25, 2008

This seems worth repeating:

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Berlin Backlash?

It seems not everyone in Germany was ecstatic about Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin.

German broadcasting station Deutsche Welle reports that those attending were told to leave their placards and posters at home.

The move came under criticism, especially from the German left, which speculated that the campaign wanted to avoid images of Germans displaying anti-American statements. Others say the ban was aimed at preventing activists from making demands on Obama.

And the senator’s visit will cost just over three-quarters of a million dollars — half of which will be paid for with German public funds.

Kiwi Bounty

It seems there will be no such hero’s welcome in New Zealand for Condoleezza Rice this weekend.

The New Zealand Press Association is reporting that Auckland University’s student association is offering a $5,000 reward to any student who can make a successful citizen’s arrest of the secretary of state.
Association president David Do says the arrest would be for Rice’s role in “overseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupation” of Iraq.

He adds, “It is hard enough living as a student in Auckland these days without having a war criminal coming to town, so we thought we’d give our students a chance to make a dent in their student loans and work for global justice at the same time.”

Not Reporting the Good News?

A sharp decline in the intensity of news coverage of the Iraq war immediately followed General David Petraeus’ testimony before Congress last September.

Cybercast News reports that data from the Multi-National Force-Iraq shows there were 219 embedded reporters in Iraq when Petraeus told Congress that the surge was working. That was also the month that the surge reached full force.

The number of embedded reporters has since dropped by 74 percent in nine months to just 58 in June.

The largest single-month drop in embeds came in October of 2007 right after the general’s testimony.

Not So Fair & Balanced

The Arab news network Al-Jazeera celebrated the birthday of released Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar with a cake and fireworks.

The Middle East Media Research Institute reports that Kuntar — who shot an Israeli child’s father in front of her and then beat her to death with his rifle in 1979 — was given a hero’s welcome on the network.

One interviewer said, “You deserve even more than this. I think that 11,000 prisoners — if they can see this program now — are celebrating your birthday with you. Happy birthday.”

Kuntar, who was part of that Israel-Hezbollah prisoner swap last week, was then presented with a cake and a collage of photos, including one of him and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. And as Kuntar cut into his cake the network set off fireworks.

— FOX News Channel’s Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.

So, by way of brie recap, we have a Germany protecting – and actually paying for – Barack Obama’s effort to campaign on foreign soil. We have New Zealanders and college pukes at Auckland University insulting the U.S. Secretary of State – and the America that sent her – with the same crazy antiwar garbage that our own equally anti-American liberals routinely vomit out. We’ve got more in-your-face PROOF that the media wanted our American war effort in Iraq to fail and now refuse to broadcast its success. And we see that Arab media network Al Jazeera has a lot in common with our media here: they both like the terrorists more than they like those who fight them.

Just another typical day in the America-despising world…

Fighting For Survival Means Fighting For Truth – by Newt Gingrich

May 9, 2008

Sleepwalking Into a Nightmare: Newt Gingrich’s Remarks to a Jewish National Fund Meeting at the Selig Center

“Good evening.

I just want to talk to you from the heart for a few minutes tonight, and share with you where I think we are.

I think it is very stark. I don’t think it is yet desperate, but it is very stark. And if I had a title for tonight’s talk, it would be ‘Sleepwalking Into a Nightmare’, because that’s what I think we’re doing.

I gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute recently, at which I gave an alternative history of the last six years, because the more I thought about how much we’re failing, the more I concluded you couldn’t just nitpick individual places and talk about individual changes because it didn’t capture the scale of the disaster. And I had been particularly impressed by a new book that came out called ‘Troublesome Young Men’, which is a study of the younger Conservatives who opposed appeasement in the 1930s and who took on Chamberlain. It’s a very revealing book and a very powerful book because we tend to look backwards and we tend to overstate Churchill’s role in that period. And we tend to understate what a serious and conscientious and thoughtful effort appeasement was and that it was the direct and deliberate policy of very powerful and very willful people. We tend to think of it as a psychological weakness as though Chamberlain was somehow craven. He wasn’t craven. Chamberlain had a very clear vision of the World, and he was very ruthless domestically.

And they believed so deeply in avoiding war with Germany that as late as the spring of 1940, when they are six months or seven months into the war, they are dropping leaflets instead of bombs on the Rohr, and they are urging the British news media not to publish anti-German stories because they don’t want to offend the German people. And you read this book, and it makes you want to weep because, interestingly, the younger Tories who were most opposed to appeasement were the combat veterans of World War I, who had lost all of their friends in the war but who understood that the failure of appeasement would result in a worse war and that the longer you lied about reality, the greater the disaster.

And they were severely punished and isolated by Chamberlain and the Conservative machine, and as I read that, I realized that that’s really where we are today. Our current problem is tragic. You have an administration whose policy is inadequate being opposed by a political Left whose policy is worse, and you have nobody prepared to talk about the policy we need. Because we are told, ‘if you are for a strong America, you should back the Bush policy even if it’s inadequate’, and so you end up making an argument in favor of something that can’t work. So your choice is to defend something which isn’t working, or to oppose it by being for an even weaker policy. And this is a catastrophe for this country, and a catastrophe for freedom around the world. Because we have refused to be honest about the scale of the problem.

Let me work backwards. I’m going to get to Iran, since that’s the topic, but I’m going to get to it eventually.

Let me work back from Pakistan. The dictatorship in Pakistan has never had control over Waziristan. Not for a single day. So we’ve now spent six years since 9/11 with a sanctuary for Al-Qaida, and a sanctuary for the Taliban, and every time we pick up people in Great Britain who are terrorists, they were trained in Pakistan.

And our answer is to praise Musharraf, because at least he’s not as bad as the others. But the truth is Musharraf has not gotten control of terrorism in Pakistan. Musharraf doesn’t have full control over his own government. The odds are even money we’re going to drift into a disastrous dictatorship at some point in Pakistan. And while we worry about the Iranians acquiring a nuclear weapon, the Pakistanis already have them. So why would you feel secure in a world where you could presently have an Islamist dictatorship in Pakistan with a hundred-plus nuclear weapons? What’s our grand strategy for that?

Then you look at Afghanistan. Here’s a country that’s small, poor, isolated, and in six years we have not been able to build roads, create economic opportunity, wean people off of growing drugs. A third of the Afghani GDP is from drugs. We haven’t been able to end the sanctuary for the Taliban in Pakistan. And I know of no case historically where you defeat a guerrilla movement if it has a sanctuary. So the people who rely on the West are out bribed by the criminals, outgunned by the criminals, and faced with a militant force across the border which practiced earlier defeating the Soviet empire and which has a time horizon of three or four generations. NATO has a time horizon of each quarter or at best a year, facing an opponent whose time horizon is literally three or four generations. It’s a total mismatch.

Then you come to the direct threat to the United States, which is al-Qaeda. About which, by the way, we just published polls. One of the sites I commend to you is AmericanSolutions.com. Last Wednesday we posted six national surveys, $428,000 worth of data. We gave it away. I found myself in the unique position of calling Howard Dean to tell him I was giving him $400,000 worth of polling. We have given it away to Democrats and Republicans alike. It is fundamentally different from the national news media. When asked the question “Do we have an obligation to defend the United States and her allies?” the answer is 85 percent yes. When asked a further question “Should we defeat our enemies?” – it’s very strong language – the answer is 75 percent yes.

So the complaint about Iraq is a performance complaint, not a values complaint.

When asked whether or not al-Qaeda is a threat, 89 percent of the country says yes. And they think you have to defeat it, you can’t negotiate with it. So now let’s look at al-Qaeda and the rise of Islamist terrorism. And let’s be honest: What’s the primary source of money for al-Qaeda? It’s you, re-circulated through Saudi Arabia. Because we have no national energy strategy, when clearly if you really cared about liberating the United States from the Middle East and if you really cared about the survival of Israel, one of your highest goals would be to move to a hydrogen economy, and to eliminate petroleum as a primary source of energy

Now that’s what a serious national strategy would look like, but that would require an actual change.

So then you look at Saudi Arabia. The fact that we tolerate a country saying no Christian and no Jew can go to Mecca, and we start with the presumption that that’s true, while they attack Israel for being a religious state, is a sign of our timidity, our confusion, our cowardice, that is stunning.

It’s not complicated. We invited Saudi Arabia to come to Annapolis to talk about rights for Palestinians when nobody said, “Let’s talk about rights for Christians and Jews in Saudi Arabia. Let’s talk about rights for women in Saudi Arabia.”

So we accept this totally one-sided definition of the world, in which our enemies can cheerfully lie on television every day, and we don’t even have the nerve to insist on the truth. We pretend their lies are reasonable. This is a very fundamental problem. And if you look at who some of the largest owners of some of our largest banks are today … they’re Saudis.

You keep pumping billions of dollars a year into countries like Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Russia, and you are presently going to have created people who oppose you, who have lots of money. And they’re then going to come back to your own country and finance, for example, Arab study institutes whose only requirement is that they never tell the truth. So you have all sorts of Ph.D.’s who now show up quite cheerfully prepared to say whatever it is that makes their founders happy — in the name, of course, of academic freedom. In this context, why wouldn’t Columbia host a genocidal madman? It’s just part of political correctness. I mean, Ahmadinejad may say terrible things; he may lock up students, he may kill journalists, he may say, “We should wipe out Israel,” he may say, “We should defeat the United States,” but after all, what has he done that’s inappropriate? What has he done that wouldn’t be repeated at a Hollywood cocktail party or a nice gathering in Europe?

And nobody says, ‘this is totally, utterly, absolutely unacceptable’. Why is it that the number-one threat in intelligence movies is always the CIA? I happened the other night to be watching an old movie, ‘To Live and Die in L.A.’, which is about counterfeiting. But the movie starts with a Secret Service agent who is defending Ronald Reagan in 1985, and the person he is defending Ronald Reagan from is a suicide bomber who is actually, overtly, a Muslim fanatic. Now, six years after 9/11, you could not get that same scene made in Hollywood today.

Just look at the movies. Why is it that the bad person has to be either a right-wing crazed billionaire, or the CIA as a government agency? Go look at the ‘Bourne Ultimatum’. Or a movie like the one that George Clooney made, which was an absolute lie, in which it was implied that if you were a reformist Arab prince, the CIA would kill you. It’s a total lie. We actually have SEALS protecting people all over the world. We actually risk American lives protecting reformers all over the world, and yet Hollywood can’t bring itself to tell the truth, because (a) it’s ideologically opposed to the American government and the American military; and (b), because it’s terrified that if it said something really openly, honestly truthful about Muslim terrorists, they might show up in Hollywood, and somebody might be killed as the Dutch producer was killed. They’re cowards.

And so we’re living a life of cowardice, and in that life of cowardice we’re sleepwalking into a nightmare.

And then you come to Iran. There’s a terrific book. Mark Bowden is a remarkable writer who wrote ‘Black Hawk Down’, has enormous personal courage. He’s a Philadelphia newspaper writer, actually got the money out of the Philadelphia newspaper to go to Somalia to interview the Somalian side of ‘Black Hawk Down’. It’s a remarkable achievement. Tells a great story about getting to Somalia, paying lots of cash, having the local warlord protect him, and after about two weeks the warlord came to him and said, “You know, we’ve decided that we’re very uncomfortable with you being here, and you should leave.”

And so he goes to the hotel, where he is the only hard-currency guest, and says, “I’ve got to check out two weeks early because the warlord has told me that he no longer will protect me.” And the hotel owner, who wants to keep his only hard-currency guest, says, “Well, why are you listening to him? He’s not the government. There is no government.” And Bowden says, “Well, what will I do?” And he says, “You hire a bigger warlord with more guns,” which he did. But then he could only stay one week because he ran out of money.

But this is a guy with real courage. I mean, imagine trying to go out and be a journalist in that kind of world, OK? So Bowden came back and wrote ‘Guest of the Ayatollah’, which is the Iranian hostage of 1979, which he entitled, ‘The First Shots in Iran’s War Against America.’ So in the Bowden world view, the current Iranian dictatorship has been at war with the United States since 1979. Violated international law. Every conceivable tenet of international law was violated when they seized the American Embassy and they seized the diplomats. Killed Americans in Lebanon in the early ’80s. Killed Americans at Khobar Towers in ’95 and had the Clinton administration deliberately avoid revealing the information, as Louis Freeh, the Director of the FBI, has said publicly, because they didn’t want to have to confront the Iranian complicity.

And so you have an Iranian regime which is cited annually as the leading supporter of state terrorism in the world. Every year the State Department says that. It’s an extraordinary act of lucidity on the part of an institution which seeks to avoid it as often as possible And you have Gen. Petraeus come to the U.S. Congress and say publicly in an open session, “The Iranians are waging a proxy war against Americans in Iraq.”

I was so deeply offended by this, it’s hard for me to express it without sounding irrational. I’m an Army Brat. My dad served 27 years in the infantry. The idea that an American general would come to the American Congress, testify in public that our young men and women are being killed by Iran, and we have done nothing, I find absolutely abhorrent So I’m preparing to come and talk today. I got up this morning, and a friend had sent me yesterday’s Jerusalem Post editorial, which if you haven’t read, I recommend to you. It has, for example, the following quote: “On Monday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, ‘The problem of the content of the document setting out joint principles for peace-making post-Annapolis has not been resolved. One of the more pressing problems is the Zionist regime’s insistence on being recognized as a Jewish state. We will not agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. There is no country in the world where religious and national identities are intertwined.’

What truly bothers me is the shallowness and the sophistry of the Western governments, starting with our own. When a person says to you, “I don’t recognize that you exist,” you don’t start a negotiation. The person says, “I literally do not recognize” and then lies to you. I mean the first thing you say to this guy is “Terrific. Let’s go visit Mecca. Since clearly there’s no other state except Israel that is based on religion, the fact that I happen to be Christian won’t bother anybody.” And then he’ll say, “Well, that’s different.”

We actually tolerate this. We have created our own nightmare, because we refuse to tell the truth. We refuse to tell the truth to our politicians. Our State Department refuses to tell the truth to the country. If the President of the United States … and again, we’re now so bitterly partisan, we’re so committed to red-vs.-blue hostility … that George W. Bush doesn’t have the capacity to give an address from the Oval Office that has any meaning for half the country. And the anti-war Left is so strong in the Democratic primary that I think it’s almost impossible for any Democratic presidential candidate to tell the truth about the situation.

And so the Republicans are isolated and trying to defend incompetence. The Democrats are isolated and trying to find a way to say, “I’m really for strength as long as I can have peace, but I’d really like to have peace, except I don’t want to recognize these people who aren’t very peaceful.”

I just want to share with you, as a grandfather, as a citizen, as a historian, as somebody who was once speaker of the House, this is a serious national crisis. This is actually 1935 or 1936, and it’s getting worse every year.

None of our enemies are confused. Our enemies don’t get up each morning and go, “Oh, gosh, I think I’ll have an existential crisis of identity in which I will try to think through whether or not we can be friends while you’re killing me.” No; our enemies get up every morning and say, “We hate the West. We hate freedom. We will kill them all.” They would not allow a meeting with women in the room. I was once interviewed by a BBC reporter, a nice young lady who was only about as anti-American as she had to be to keep her job. Since it was a live interview, I turned to her halfway through the interview and I said, “Do you like your job?” And it was summertime, and she’s wearing a short-sleeve dress. And she said, “Well, yes.” She was confused because I had just reversed roles. I said, “Well, then you should hope we win.” She said, “What do you mean?” And I said, “Well, if the enemy wins, you won’t be allowed to be on television.”

I don’t know how to explain it any simpler than that.

Now, what do we need?

We need first of all to recognize this is a real war. Our enemies are peaceful when they’re weak, are ruthless when they’re strong, demand mercy when they’re losing, show no mercy when they’re winning. They understand exactly what this is, and anybody who reads Sun Tzu will understand exactly what we’re living through. This is a total war. One side is going to win. One side is going to lose. You’ll be able to tell who won and who lost by who’s still standing. Most of Islam is not in this war, but most of Islam isn’t going to stop this war. They’re just going to sit to one side and tell you how sorry they are that this is happening.

We had better design grand strategies that are radically bigger and radically tougher and radically more honest than anything currently going on, and that includes winning the argument in Europe, and it includes winning the argument in the rest of the world.

And it includes being very clear, and I’ll just give you one simple example because we’re now muscle-bound by our own inability to talk honestly. Iran produces 60 percent of its own gasoline. It produces lots of crude oil but only has one refinery. It imports 40 percent of its gasoline. The entire 60 percent is produced at one huge refinery.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan decided to break the Soviet empire. He was asked: ‘what’s your vision of the Cold War?’ He said, ‘Four words: we win; they lose.’ He was clearly seen by The New York Times as an out-of-touch, reactionary, right-wing cowboy from California who had no idea what was going on in the world. And eleven years later the Soviet Union disappeared, but obviously that had nothing to do with Reagan because that would have meant he was right. So it’s just a random accident the Soviet Union disappeared.

Part of the war we waged on the Soviet Union involved their natural gas supply because we wanted to cut off their hard currency. The Soviets were desperate to get better equipment for their pipeline. We managed to sell them, through third parties, some very, very sophisticated American pipeline equipment, which they were absolutely thrilled to buy, and thought they had pulled off a huge coup. Now, we weren’t playing fair. We did not tell them that the equipment was designed to fail; to blow itself up. It was in the software that ran the equipment, and they never detected it. One day in 1982, there was an explosion in Siberia so large that the initial reflection on the satellites looked like it was a tactical nuclear weapon. One part of the White House was genuinely worried, and the other part of the White House had to calm them down. They said, “No, no, that’s just our own equipment blowing up.”

In the 28 years since the Iranians declared war on us, in the six years since 9/11, in the months since Gen. Petraeus publicly said they are killing young Americans, we have not been able to figure out how to take down a single refinery. Covertly, quietly, without overt war. And we have not been able to figure out how to use the most powerful Navy in the world to simply stop the tankers and say, “Look, you want to kill young Americans, you’re going to walk to the battlefield. You’re not going to ride in the car, because you’re not going to have any gasoline.”

We don’t have to be stupid. The choice is not cowardice or total war. Reagan unlocked Poland without firing a shot, via an alliance with the Pope, with the labor unions, and with the British. We have every possibility, if we’re prepared to be honest, to shape the world. It’ll be a very big project. It’s going to require an effort much closer to the effort we put into World War II than it is to anything we’ve tried recently. It will require great effort, real intensity and real determination. We’re either going to do it now, while we’re still extraordinarily powerful, or we’re going to do it later under much more desperate circumstances after we’ve lost several cities.

We had better take this seriously, because we are not very many mistakes away from a second Holocaust. Three nuclear weapons is a second Holocaust. Our enemies would like to get those weapons as soon as they can, and they promise to use them as soon as they can. I suggest we defeat our enemies, and create a different situation long before they have that power.

Thank you.”

— Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

Iraq War Justified: What the Chronology Reveals (Part 2)

May 6, 2008

Iraq Chronology: 2000-2002, and 2003

Available at http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/s814212.htm

My sometimes admittedly smarmy editorials [appear in brackets]. I selectively choose dates in the chronology, and I add bold type face wherever I wish to emphasize a point, but I do not alter any other information in this presentation.

On 3 Feb 2000, the US Navy seized the Russian tanker Volgoneft-147 in the Persian Gulf, which was carrying Iraq oil in violation of UN sanctions against Iraq. Action resulting from smuggling by another Russian tanker results in Royal Dutch Shell’s agreeing to pay a $2 million fine, though it appeared to have been an unwitting victim of Russia’s [illegal] operations. On 23 March Vice Admiral Charles Moore, overseeing US operations in the Gulf, briefed the United Nations Sanctions Committee on the increased smuggling of Iraqi oil. Iraq is expected to earn in excess of $500 million from oil smuggling, and possibly up to double that amount, in the absence of strong action by Iran to prevent the use of its territorial waters by smugglers. [Darn. That’s a lot of money. But Saddam Hussein can be trusted to only use it for niceness, and not evilness. At this time, weapons inspectors have not been allowed into the country for two years]

On 30 March 2000, The United Nations Security Council votes to allow Iraq to import $1.2 billion in spare parts and other equipment for its oil industry this year under the “oil-for-food” program. This is an increase from the previous $600 million annual value allowed. [This program would become the worst case of UN fraud in a history chock full of fraud, and allow Iraq to continue profiting (thus rendering all UN sanctions essentially useless).]

On 24 Aug 2000, Iraq‘s Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz says “Iraq will not cooperate “with UNMOVIC, the body created by the United Nations to replace the former UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM). [This a rather crystal clear statement as to whether Iraq intends to cooperate with weapons inspections. As will be shown, everyone says Iraq should cooperate, but a few countries will not allow any measure that punishes failure to cooperate. Everything that follows in this chronology is just part of the same sick joke]

On 30 Aug 2001, Iraq fires missiles at US aircraft, and claims to have shot down a “spy plane.” The US retaliates with air strikes. [Under the cease fire agreement, the US was allowed to fly over Iraq].

[On 11 Sep 2001, the United States is hit with four terror attacks using passenger aircraft as flying bombs (a fifth was planned but was prevented from boarding). 3000 Americans are killed. Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda claim responsibility. American intelligence realizes that a terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction would be catastrophic beyond imagination. Understanding that the most dangerous WMD must be developed b a nation-state, planners begin to consider the possibilities of a nation-state covertly providing WMD to some terrorist organization.]

On 27 Nov 2001 Iraq rejects a call by U.S. President George Bush to let United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country to determine whether it is building weapons of mass destruction.

28 Jan 2002 Iraqi crude oil is flowing through a pipeline to Syria and being exported – or at least substituted in Syrian refineries allowing for more Syrian crude oil exports – in violation of United Nations sanctions. Analysts have placed the amount of crude oil being sent from Iraq to Syria at between 150,000 and 200,000 barrels per day. Iraq also negotiates with Turkey to export oil – in violation of the UN program – in details which emerge on 7 Feb.

29 Jan 2002 President Bush clearly states (at the State of the Union) that “The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”

On 13 Feb 2002, Iraq says that it will not allow United Nations arms inspectors to return to Iraq. Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan states, “There is no need for the spies of the [U.N.] inspection teams to return to Iraq since Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction.” The United States has declared that actions may be taken against the Iraqi government if U.N. arms inspectors are not allowed to return.

On 4 April 2002, An Iraqi defector tells Vanity Fair that Iraq is developing a long-range ballistic missile system that could carry weapons of mass destruction up to 700 miles.

On 3 May 2002, UNMOVIC and Iraqi officials hold talks. The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan says these are the first talks to take place at a technical level since December 1998. [In other words, over three years have passed since UNSCOM/UNMOVIC have done any significant monitoring of Iraq’s weapons program].

On 5 July talks in Vienna between the United Nations and Iraq end without agreement on inspections as Baghdad seeks assurances that sanctions will be lifted.

On 30 July The leaders of Germany and France say they could not support an attack on Iraq without a U.N. mandate. [But France wields a UN veto that can stop any UN action, and France and Germany are both participating in major illegal arms sales to Iraq, as well as profiting from violations in the UN oil for food program].

On 31 July [Former United Nations chief weapons inspector] Richard Butler tells a U.S. Senate Committee that Iraq increased the production of chemical and biological weapons after U.N. inspections ended- and might even be close to developing a nuclear bomb. A former Iraqi nuclear engineer tells the Committee that Saddam Hussein will have enough weapons-grade uranium for three nuclear bombs by 2005.

On 4 August 2002 Hans Blix rejects an Iraqi invitation to travel to Baghdad for “technical talks,” saying he would not do so until Saddam Hussein approved the return of weapons inspectors. [Iraq continues to refuse to allow weapons inspectors in clear and repeated violation of its cease fire agreement.]

On 8 August Saddam Hussein warns against a possible U.S. attack on his nation, saying that anyone who wages war against Iraq will die in “disgraceful failure.

On 14 August A prominent Iraqi Kurdish leader, Jalal Talabani, publicly issues an invitation to the US for the first time to mount an invasion of Iraq from his territory.

On 2 September 2002, Hans Blix rejects a second Iraqi request that he travel to Baghdad for “technical talks,” saying he would not do so until Saddam Hussein approved the return of weapons inspectors.

On 8 September The Guardian reports that the United States has begun a massive military build-up required for a war against Iraq, ordering the movement of tens of thousands of men and tons of material to the Gulf region.

On 10 September, The Iraqi vice-president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, tells a press conference in Jordan that “the aggression on Iraq is an aggression on all Arab nations. It is the right of all the Arab people, wherever they are, to fight against the aggression through their representatives and on their soil … by all means….We call on all Arab and good people to confront the interests of the aggressors, their materials and humans wherever they are because this is a human right.”

On 12 Sep 2002 President Bush addresses the U.N. to put the case for war against Iraq.

On 13 September Baghdad rejects President George Bush’s demand for the unconditional return of U.N. weapons inspectors.

On 15 September Saudi Arabia indicates that American forces would be free to attack Iraq from bases on its soil if Baghdad rejects a fresh United Nations resolution on weapons inspectors.

On 16 September, Under growing international pressure and to avoid a possible U.S. invasion, Iraq announces it will accept the unconditional return of international weapons inspectors four years after they left.

On 21 September 2002, Iraq rejects U.S. efforts to secure new U.N. resolutions threatening war. Iraqi state-run radio announces Baghdad will not abide by the unfavorable new resolutions adopted by the U.N. Security Council. U.N. chief inspector Hans Blix says he expects an advance team of inspectors to be in Iraq by October 15, and some early inspections could be carried out soon afterward.

On 23 September British Prime Minister Tony Blair says new sources of intelligence from inside Iraq provide “persuasive and overwhelming” evidence that Saddam Hussein is reassembling and expanding his weapons programme. Also on that day, the United States military gives President George Bush a highly detailed military plan for ousting Saddam Hussein.

On 24 September Britain publishes a dossier saying that Iraq could produce a nuclear weapon within one or two years, if it obtains fissile material and other components from abroad and has constructed test equipment for a missile capable of striking British military bases in Cyprus.

On 26 September 2002 Britain and the United States reach agreement on a tough United Nations Security Council resolution which threatens Saddam Hussein with severe consequences if he fails to grant weapons inspecters unfettered access to Iraq. Russia, China and France express grave reservations about the Anglo-American text. [Russia, China, and France are all massively profiting from the corrupt U.N. oil for food program and participating in arms deals with Iraq that are illegal under the UN regulations.]

On 28 September Iraq declares it will not accept the new rules that the United States wants to impose on U.N. weapons inspections. The U.S. draft resolution calls on Iraq to: grant full access to all sites, including military bases, factories and Saddam Hussein’s presidential palaces; agree within seven days to the terms of the new resolution; and show within 30 days that it has met those demands. Failing compliance, the U.N. Security Council authorizes “all means necessary” to enforce the new conditions. Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Tariq Aziz warns that the United States will suffer “losses they have never sustained for decades”, if Iraq is attacked.

On 1 October United Nations negotiators and an Iraqi delegation meet in Vienna to agreeterms for resuming weapons inspections. The talks leave eight presidential compounds off-limits, and the U.S. rejects the inspectors’ return without a new security council resolution toughening the inspection scheme.

On 1 October 2002 U.S. defense and intelligence officials say that President Saddam Hussein may have given army commanders conditional authority to use chemical or biological weapons if the United States invades. [Note: NOT President Bush or the White House, but the military. This intelligence is part of what shapes Bush; not part of Bush shaping the intelligence.]

On 1 October The Sydney Morning Herald reports that France and Russia have launched diplomatic strikes on the United States over its apparent determination to invade Baghdad if Saddam Hussein interfered with the work of weapons inspectors. France’s Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, said the U.S.’s stated goal of “regime change” in Baghdad was” against international law”. [But the UN Security Council had authorized the plan. Again, France and Russia were themselves acting illegally under international law, and their actions were actually part of the reason that the United States believed Iraq was rebuilding its weapons programmes.]

On 2 October 2002, President George Bush secures bipartisan congressional support for authority to go to war without U.N. backing if the U.N. fails to agree on a new resolution making drastic new demands of Iraq.

On 5 October The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the United Nations will delay sending weapons inspectors to Iraq until after the Security Council has voted on a tough new resolution designed to ensure that Saddam Hussein does not interfere with their work.

On 7 October The New York Times reports that President Bush has declared in an address to the nation that Saddam Hussein could attack the United States or its allies “on any given day” with chemical or biological weapons. In an argument for disarming Iraq or going to war with that country, he said that “we have an urgent duty to prevent the worst from occurring.”

On October 7, 2002 President George W. Bush stated: “Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its own people. The entire world has witnessed Iraq’s eleven-year history of defiance, deception and bad faith.”

On 11 October 2002 The US House of Representatives passes a resolution giving President George W. Bush broad authorization to use military force, if the United Nations fails to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. See Richard Butler’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald Bringing Saddam to Trial is the Real Challenge.

On 16 October Iraq says that Saddam Hussein has scored 100 percent of the 11.4 million votes cast in a presidential referendum, thus securing — from a field that consisted only of himself — a further seven years as Iraq’s leader. A London-based Iraqi opposition group described the poll as an illegitimate event in which terrified citizens voted out of fear of punishment.

On 16 October The New York Times reports that the Bush administration’s push for an early American-led war against Iraq has drawn broad opposition in an unusual open debate in the Security Council. Many countries backed weapons inspections, and Arab states said they would not support an attack without United Nations endorsement, considering an attack only as a last resort. Iraq’s ambassador, Mohammed Aldouri, calls the United Nations economic sanctions against his country an act of genocide and rejects the American and British proposal for a new, tougher resolution for Iraq to disarm. [It is becoming increasingly clear that nothing will change. The U.N. is paralyzed and corrupt]

On 18 October 2002 The British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, says that Britain and the U.S. were prepared to go it alone with military action against Iraq, if they failed to secure a new U.N. mandate on weapons inspections.

On 22 October France and Russia vow to resist a revised United Nations resolution proposed by the U.S.

On 8 Nov 2002 The U.N. Security Council votes unanimously in favor of a British and American resolution to send weapons inspectors back into Iraq. George Bush promises “the severest consequences” if Saddam Hussein fails to comply. President Saddam has one week to accept the resolution in writing, at which point weapons inspectors could head back to Iraq after an absence of over four years.

On 10 November Iraq‘s parliament condemns the U.N. resolution on resuming weapons inspections and Salim al-Koubaisi, the head of the foreign relations committee, advises MPs to follow the “wise Iraqi leadership” but recommends the legislators reject the US-drafted document. The Bush administration says it will not wait for the U.N. Security Council to approve an attack on Iraq if it fails to comply with weapons inspections.

On 12 Nov 2002 The Iraqi parliament votes unanimously to reject the United Nations resolution calling on the country to disarm.

On 13 November Iraq‘s ambassador to the U.N. says that Iraq has accepted the Security Council Resolution for the return of weapons inspectors. [More of the same continual pattern of mixed signals, followed by delay and obfuscation.

On 18 November 2002 United Nations weapons inspectors arrive in Iraq to re-launch the search for weapons of mass destruction. The 30 inspectors who flew into Baghdad from Cyprus marks the first visit by U.N. arms monitors to Iraq for four years. [There are 30 inspectors to examine a country the size of Texas.]

On 19 November Coalition planes fire on Iraqi air defenses in retaliation for an Iraqi

attack. The U.S. Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said on November 17 that such attacks are violations of the U.N.’s resolution 1441.

On 23 November 2002 U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin warn Iraq that it faces “serious consequences” if it fails to comply completely with a U.N. disarmament ultimatum. [But Putin refuses to allow ANY consequences whatsoever in ANY U.N. resolution. More useless double-talk.]

On 25 November The first team of U.N. inspectors land in Baghdad to begin their search for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. A C-130 transport plane touches down at Saddam International Airport carrying six nuclear experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency and 11 members of the Unmovic team, together with an array of high-technology sensors, computers and other equipment.

On 2 December The United States confirms it has struck targets in southern Iraq over attacks on its warplanes in no-fly zones.

On 3 December A new report published by the British Foreign Office says that the regime of President Saddam Hussein carries out “systematic torture” on Iraqi opponents of the regime.

On 3 December U.N. weapons inspectors say Iraq has admitted for the first time that it illegally tried to import aluminium tubing for weapons purposes. The Iraqis claim the tubing was for conventional and not nuclear weapons as has been claimed by the Americans and the British. [And we should believe them, because they are honest folk.]

On 4 December 2002 United States President George W. Bush says the signs that Saddam was complying completely with the inspections process are not encouraging and warns that the December 8 declaration “must be credible and complete”, adding that if Saddam did not disarm, “the United States will lead a coalition to disarm him.”

On 7 December Iraqi officials in Baghdad present the U.N. with more than 12,000 pages of documents detailing its nuclear, chemical and biological activities and formally declaring to that it has no weapons of mass destruction.

On 12 December U.N. officials say that Iraq‘s 11,000-page declaration on weapons contains mostly old information, including thousands of pages of reports that the United Nations has already seen.

On 12 December The United States reaches a preliminary conclusion that Iraq‘s 12,000-page declaration of its weapons programs fails to account for chemical and biological agents missing when inspectors left Iraq four years ago.

On 15 December 2002 The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says that the United Nations will need a few months to reach a conclusion about Iraq’s declaration on its weapons program.

On 19 December Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix says the Iraqi arms declaration contains little new information about its weapons of mass destruction capability. The United States accuses Baghdad of being in “material breach” of the UN resolution.

On 21 December United States President George W. Bush gives his formal approval to the deployment of a further 50,000 US soldiers in the Persian Gulf.

On 23 December US military officials announce that Iraqi aircraft have shot down a US unmanned surveillance drone over southern Iraq.

On 26 Dec 2002 An Iraqi scientist refuses to be interviewed by UN weapons inspectors without Iraqi officials present. [Clearly, the scientist – fearing reprisals from his government – makes this request so that Iraqi Intelligence will be able to confirm that he told the inspectors nothing.]

On 27 December A United Nations spokesman says that an Iraqi scientist interviewed by inspectors has given details of a military program suspected of being part of a secret effort to build a nuclear weapon.

On 30 December US military commanders tell the New York Times that the Saudi government has agreed to allow American planes to use its bases in a war with Iraq. Earlier On 11 December, The United States and Qatar signed a pact to upgrade Qatari military bases which the U.S. could use in a conflict with Iraq. Turkey similarly authorizes the US to use its territory for military action against Iraq on Jan 10, 2003. [Clearly, the US DOES have allies – including Arab allies – in its cause (specifically Iraq‘s neighbors)].

On 6 January 2003 An address by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein is televised to mark the 82nd

anniversary of the establishment of the country’s army. Saddam Hussein accuses the UN inspectors of being spies and calls his enemies the “friends and helpers of Satan”. He also declares that Iraq is fully prepared for war.

On 7 January Britain announces that it will mobilise 1,500 reserve forces and despatch a naval task force of 3,000 Royal Marines and about 2,000 sailors to the Persian Gulf.

On 9 January Hans Blix and Mohammed el-Baradei deliver interim assessments to the UN Security Council in New York on Iraq’s weapons declaration. Mr Blix tells reporters: “We have now been there for some two months and been covering the country in ever wider sweeps and we haven’t found any smoking guns.” [According to some sources, at the rate they are going, it will take the inspectors five or more years to complete their inspection even if Iraq continues to “cooperate.”]

On 16 January 2003, The Washington Post reports that UN weapons inspectors have found a cache of 11 empty chemical warheads, in “excellent condition” that were not listed in Iraq’s final weapons declaration. Gen. Hussam Mohammed Amin, head of Iraq’s weapons-monitoring directorate says the chemical shells were overlooked because they were stored in boxes similar to those for conventional 122mm rocket warheads.

On 16 January Four Iraqi scientists refuse to be interviewed without Iraqi officials present, [again, indicating that they wish to prove to their government that they had said nothing to inspectors]. Hans Blix again warns Iraq that it must cooperate more fully with his monitors if it wants to avoid a war with the United States and its allies. [But Iraq NEVER cooperates more, do they?]

On 19 Jan 2003 The United States offers Saddam Hussein immunity from prosecution if he leaves Iraq.US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld says in a television interview: “If to avoid a war, I would…recommend that some provision be made so that the senior leadership in that country [Iraq] and their families could be provided haven in some other country.” [The ball is in Saddam’s Court.]

On 20 January US military officials announce that they are sending a force of about 37,000 soldiers to the Persian Gulf region. This takes the number of US troops ordered to deploy to around 125,000.

On 21 January The Iraqi government agrees to measures for greater cooperation with the United Nations including encouraging scientists to grant interviews to inspectors. [But they do not allow the scientists to be questioned outside of the country.]

On 22 January The United States issues a detailed report, Apparatus of Lies which seeks to expose what it calls Iraq’s “brutal record of deceit” from 1990 until the present.

On 23 Jan 2003 Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and Turkey meet in Istanbul in a diplomatic effort to avert a war in Iraq. They urge Iraq to “demonstrate a more active approach” in providing information on its weapons programmes. [But ‘urging’ is meaningless without resolutions defining military consequences].

On 23 January Australia sends its first batch of an expected 1,500 troops to join the US-British buildup in the Persian Gulf region. Prime Minister John Howard farewells HMAS Kanimbla saying that it was right for the international community to try and disarm Iraq.

On 24 January United States Deputy Defense Secretary, Paul D. Wolfowitz says that Washington has evidence that Iraq has threatened to kill scientists and their families if they co-operated with UN inspectors.

On 24 January China and Russia join France and Germany in calling for the Bush Administration to work within the United Nations. [It is noteworthy to point out that China, Russia, and France – longstanding opponents of American foreign policy – have veto power in the UN and can block any measure the US attempts to pass. They are also all deeply involved with massive sales to Iraq. Based on its long history of pursuit of human rights, China is probably also motivated by a profound sense of altruism.]

On 25 January 2003 Three more Iraqi weapons specialists refuse to be interviewed by UN inspectors without government authorities present. [Why don’t they want to speak with UN inspectors? And so much for the 21 January agreement.]

On 27 January In an address to the World Economic Forum in Washington US Secretary of State, Colin Powell says that Saddam Hussein has clear links with the al-Qaeda network. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz denies the accusation saying Iraq has no “relationship with terrorist groups.” [They are just such nice people. The U.S. has legitimate beliefs that Iraq is doing NOTHING to disprove.]

On 27 January The newspaper of Iraq’s ruling Baath party advises the Iraqi people to be prepared for martyrdom in the event of an invasion. It also says that US and British soldiers will face the choice of “withdrawing from the battlefield or returning home in bodybags.” [Yep. That’s cooperation, all right. Hey, let’s keep trying!]

On 28 January Hans Blix reports to the UN Security Council on the progress of weapons inspections in Iraq, 60 days after they began. The 15-page report states that although Iraq had been quite co-operative, there was an absence of full transparency including the deliberate concealment of documents. The report also states that inspectors have evidence that Iraq produced thousands of litres of anthrax in the 1990s and that the deadly bacteria “might still exist”. It also says that Iraq may have lied about the amount if VX nerve gas it has produced, and that it has failed to account for 6500 chemical bombs.

On 28 Jan 2003 Australian Prime Minister John Howard calls on the United Nations Security Council to act, saying it was time for the UN “rhetoric” to be backed with action. He also tells reporters that letting Saddam Hussein get away with keeping weapons of mass destruction “makes it a more dangerous world for all of us.”

On 28 January Former UN chief weapons inspector Richard Butler tells BBC radio that there is no doubt Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction but that an attack on Iraq without approval of the Security Council would be a contravention of international law. [Let’s put aside his political insights and consider his area of expertise: the former chief says “there is no doubt.”]

On 30 January A survey by EOS Gallup Europe says that although 66 per cent of European citizens agree that Iraq poses a serious threat to world peace, 82 per cent would not support their countries’ participating in a military intervention without UN support. 72 per cent of Europeans believe that Iraq’s oil resources are the main reason behind Washington’s desire to intervene militarily. [It is interesting to note that, five years after the invasion, the US hasn’t touched Iraqi oil.]

On 30 January The leaders of Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic call on Europe to stand united with America in the battle to disarm Iraq, in a letter published in newspapers worldwide. The letter also states: “The Security Council must maintain its credibility by ensuring full compliance with its resolutions. We cannot allow a dictator to systematically violate those resolutions. If they are not complied with, the Security Council will lose its credibility and world peace will suffer as a result.”

On 30 January before a private meeting with the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, US President George W. Bush publicly endorses efforts by Arab leaders to negotiate exile for President Saddam Hussein. [The ball is still clearly in Saddam’s court to avoid war. This offer has been made previously.]

On 4 Feb 2003 Australian Prime Minister John Howard makes a statement to Parliament on Iraq: “To explain to the House and through it to the Australian people the government’s belief that the world community must deal decisively with Iraq; why Iraq’s continued defiance of the United Nations and its possession of chemical and biological weapons and its pursuit of a nuclear capability poses a real and unacceptable threat to the stability and security of our world; why the matters at stake go to the very credibility of the United Nations itself; why the issue is of direct concern to Australia and why, therefore, the Australian government has authorized the forward positioning of elements of the Australian Defense Force in the Persian Gulf.”

On 6 Febuary US Secretary of State Colin Powell presents tape recordings, satellite photos and informants’ statements to the UN, which he says constitute “irrefutable and undeniable” evidence that Saddam Hussein is concealing weapons of mass destruction. Read the full text of Colin Powell’s speech.

On 6 Febuary The European Union formally demands Iraq fully comply with UN inspectors. [But Iraq doesn’t comply. Now what?]

On 6 Febuary 2003 The Prime Minister of Turkey declares his government’s support for America‘s plans for military action in Iraq. On 7 Febuary Turkey’s Parliament approves a plan that will allow the United States to renovate the country’s military bases and ports.

On 7 February the Sydney Morning Herald reports that France, Russia and China have rejected US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s argument that urgent action should be taken against Iraq, saying the case for war was not strengthened by his address to the UN Security Council.

On 8 Febuary Chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix says inspectors had found another empty warhead Iraq had not disclosed, bringing to 18 the number uncovered thus far.

On 9 Febuary The Iraqis give the chief weapons inspectors more documents to try to clarify questions about chemical and biological weapons. Australian Prime Minister John Howard says Saddam Hussein needs to do more than just hand over more documents to the UN if he wants to avoid military strikes.

On 10 Feb 2003 France, Germany and Belgium block a NATO plan to improve defenses for Turkey. All three countries are involved in illegal deals with Iraq and Saddam Hussein]. Turkey responds by becoming the first country in NATO’s 53-year history to publicly invoke Article 4 of the alliance’s mutual defense treaty which binds the 19 allies to talks when one perceives a threat to its “territorial integrity, political independence or security.”

On 12 Febuary UN weapons inspectors in Iraq destroy a declared stockpile of mustard gas and artillery shells at a former weapons site.

On 13 Febuary US military officials say that US and British warplanes have struck an Iraqi surface-to-surface missile system located near Basra in southern Iraq that had been moved into striking range of US troops in Kuwait for the second time in two days. [How much longer should the U.S. allow Iraq to move its arsenal into position to kill its soldiers? Does France, Russia, China care?]

On 13 Febuary A team of international missile experts conclude that an Iraqi ballistic missile program is in clear violation of UN mandates prohibiting Iraq from building medium and long-range missiles.

On 14 Febuary United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix delivers his verdict on Iraq’s compliance with his team, telling the UN Security Council that Iraq has not fully co-operated. Blix also states that the inspectors have not found any weapons of mass destruction. The problem is that the inspectors can’t possibly find such weapons UNLESS Iraq cooperates.

On 17 Feb 2003 French President Jacques Chirac publicly pledges that France will veto a second UN resolution that explicitly authorizes military action.

On 18 Febuary Australia’s federal cabinet decides to support and lobby for a new US-led UN resolution on Iraq, setting a deadline of about two weeks for Iraq to fully comply with UN disarmament demands or face military action. On 19 Febuary Australia‘s ambassador to the United Nations, John Dauth, urges the UN Security Council to deal with Iraq and Saddam Hussein without delay.

On 21 Febuary UN officials say that chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix has ordered the destruction of dozens of Iraqi missiles with ranges that violated UN limits. General Amer al-Saadi, science adviser to Saddam Hussein says they are considering the demand and will “come up with a decision quite soon.” [In other words, Iraq doesn’t comply and delays again].

On 21 Febuary US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announces that the US has sufficient troops and equipment in the Gulf to launch an attack on Iraq at any time.

On 21 Febuary The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the US Navy is boarding an average of six vessels a day as it steps up patrols in international waters searching for Iraqi weapons. UNMOVIC had previously announced that there were reports suggesting that Iraqi weapons had been smuggled abroad in recent months. [What kind of weapons? Smuggled to where? We KNOW Saddam Hussein had WMD because he used it repeatedly. Where did it go? Are we truly supposed to believe that Saddam destroyed it out of goodness and guilt?]

On 22 Feb 2003 US Secretary of State, Colin Powell says there will be no war if Saddam Hussein leaves Iraq. [This is at least the third U.S. invitation to avoid war]

On 22 Febuary An intelligence official tells The Washington Times that Saddam Hussein has started deploying his armed forces around Iraq in order to prevent the US from achieving a quick victory. [And we should continue to wait so he can do a better job]

On 24 Febuary The US, Britain and Spain propose a UN resolution declaring that Iraq “has failed to take the final opportunity” to disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard backs the resolution, saying that if it was not carried then the credibility of the Security Council would be weakened. Germany, France and Russia present a rival initiative saying that “the military option should be the last resort.” [The Security Council will never have credibility again. The rival measure provides no end to the stalling, because there will always be some new gimmick.]

On 25 Febuary British Prime Minister Tony Blair gives an address to the House of Commons and says a vote on a new UN Security Council resolution will be delayed to give Iraq a last opportunity to disarm voluntarily.

On 25 Feb 2003 France and Germany reiterate that they will oppose the new US-backed resolution. French President Jacques Chirac says that “a majority of the UN Security Council is opposed to a second resolution” to allow the use of force to disarm Iraq. [There HAD been that first resolution back on 28 Sep 2002, however.]

On 25 Febuary France urges Iraq to avoid war by destroying its illegal al-Samoud 2 missiles. [But they don’t]

On 26 Febuary In a televised interview with CBS News, Saddam Hussein denies any connections with al-Qaeda and says he will refuse any offer of asylum, vowing to die in Iraq. He also denies his al-Samoud 2 missiles break UN resolutions and refuses to destroy them.

On 26 Febuary 2003 Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix says his team will need a few months to complete inspections in Iraq, even if Iraq “immediately, actively and unconditionally” co-operates. He also states that it is “not clear whether Iraq really wants to co-operate.” [It’s “not clear”? What is this guy smoking? It has ALWAYS been clear that Iraq intended to do everything it could NOT to cooperate. And as Blix plays a fun game of hide-and-seek and basks in the glow of media exposure, over 150,000 American troops are, and have been for months, stuck in a flea-ridden desert at exorbitant financial cost to the United States.]

On 26 February US President George Bush says that only full disarmament by Iraq will avert US military action.

On 26 February The Washington Post reports that the United States and Saudi Arabia have reached a new agreement on the use of Saudi military facilities in the event of a war against Iraq.

On 26 Feb 2003 The US military says that warplanes taking part in US-British patrols have attacked two air defense cable communications sites in southern Iraq after the Iraqi air force violated the no-fly zone.

On 26 Febuary The US tells Iraqi opposition groups that it has no intention of governing a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq any longer than it has to. [Although the aftermath has been

difficult, it clearly still doesn’t].

On 26 Febuary The British government puts forward a motion asking for backing for UN efforts to disarm Iraq which is passed by 434 to 124. However 199 MP’s, including members of the Labour Party, back an amendment to the motion which states the case for war is as yet unproven.

On 28 Febuary Pentagon officials say that satellite imagery has detected Iraqi Republican Guard units moving south from Mosul to Tikrit, about 160km north-west of Baghdad, while other units are moving into residential areas of Baghdad.

On 2 March 2003 Leaders of the 22-member Arab League gather in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheik for a summit on the Iraq crisis. They declare a “complete rejection of any aggression on Iraq” and call for more time for inspections. They also urge Baghdad to abide by UN demands that it surrender weapons of mass destruction and missiles it could use to deliver them. The United Arab Emirates calls on Saddam to step down. [The second two requests will clearly never happen. The only question is whether the world – and specifically the US, Britain, and Australia, should tolerate WMD in the hands of Saddam Hussein or not].

On 5 March France, Russia and Germany again vow “not to allow” a resolution authorising war to be passed by the UN security council. They also state that Iraq must do more to cooperate, saying: “We strongly encourage the Iraqi authorities to cooperate more actively with the inspectors towards the full disarmament of their country. These inspections can not continue indefinitely.” [But they already HAVE continued indefinitely, and France, Russia, and Germany vow to ensure that they continue to continue with no consequences].

On 5 March US Secretary of State Colin Powell says Saddam Hussein has told Iraqi government officials that everything must be done to ensure inspectors do not find any weapons of mass destruction.

On 6 March 2003 China joins France and Russia in opposition to a US-British second resolution authorizing war with Iraq, saying “the Chinese side still supports using political means to resolve the Iraq issue”. Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan says there is no need for a new UN Security Council resolution on the Iraqi crisis. [Presumably this is because China is satisfied with all the progress made over the last five years].

On 7 March Turkey’s armed forces say they are in favor of allowing thousands of US troops to pass through the country and create a second front against Iraq.

On 7 March US president George W. Bush gives a news conference at the White House and says he will insist on a vote on a new resolution authorizing war on Iraq, and that it is time for UN Security Council members to “show their cards”. Bush also tells Saddam Hussein that only “total disarmament” is acceptable.

On 8 March The United States and Britain propose a March 17 deadline for Iraq to disarm or face war.

On 8 March 2003 A report by UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix to the Security Council says that he suspects Iraq might be trying to produce new missiles. He also says it will take months to disarm Iraq, even with its active cooperation. The Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El Baradei, says there is no evidence Iraq has a nuclear weapons development program.

On 8 March Russia‘s deputy foreign minister Yuri Fedotov tells the BBC that Russia will do everything it can to ensure that an amended draft UN resolution that sets a March 17 deadline for Iraq to disarm is not passed by the Security Council. [In other words, those who believe the US should wait for a UN resolution to attack Iraq therefore believe that Russia should be able to unilaterally control the decision. Russia can block ANYTHING it wants to with its veto.]

On 9 March Japan declares its support for the UN Security Council resolution and Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi calls it “a final effort by the international community to pressure Iraq to disarm on its own.”

On 10 March France and Russia say they will oppose the US-backed resolution setting a March 17 ultimatum for Saddam Hussein. In a televised statement, French President Jacques Chirac says, “Whatever happens, France will vote no.” [France also has the ability to block ANY resolution it wants. At this point I add again that both France and Russia are massively benefiting from the corrupt oil for food program and from weapons sales to Iraq].

On 10 March 2003 Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El Baradei tells the Al-Hayat newspaper that a “dramatic and fundamental change in spirit and substance” from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is needed to avert war. [But one isn’t coming; so what do we do?]

On 11 March The New York Times reports that UN weapons inspectors in Iraq have found a new variety of rocket apparently configured to spread bomblets filled with chemical or biological agents over large areas.

On 11 March Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Abdel Tawab Mullah Huweish says, “our leadership, people and army are ready for the battle of destiny.” [So GIVE it to them. They have never cooperated. They will NEVER cooperate].

On 11 March Romania announces that it has expelled five Iraqi diplomats for activities incompatible with their diplomatic status.

On 11 March Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov states “that if the draft of the resolution containing ultimatum-type demands that were submitted to the UN is put on the vote, Russia will vote against it.”

On 12 March 2003 The British government puts forward six tests that the Iraqi president will have to pass to avoid war. These include a televised statement by Saddam Hussein saying he is giving up his weapons of mass destruction, permission for Iraqi weapons experts to be interviewed abroad and the complete destruction of all al-Samoud 2 missiles.

On 12 March A spokesman for the UN weapons inspectors tells reporters that Iraq has destroyed three more al-Samoud missiles.

On 13 March The UN says it has pulled out more than 30 weapons inspectors throughout Iraq.

On 13 March 2003 Australian Prime Minister John Howard gives a major speech to the National Press Club, laying his case for Australian support of US-led military action and saying that it is “very much in the national interest of Australia that Iraq have taken from her chemical and biological weapons and be denied the possibility of ever having nuclear weapons… if terrorists ever get their hands on weapons of mass destruction that will, in my very passionate belief and argument, constitute a direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people.”

On 13 March Islamic Action Front leader Sheik Hamza Mansur warns Australia and other countries backing a US-led attack on Iraq that they face a violent backlash from across the Arab world.

On 13 March The UN Security Council holds a meeting to discuss Britain‘s six-test plan to deal with Saddam Hussein. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin rejects the proposal, saying the new ideas do not address the key issue of seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis. Iraqi foreign minister Naji Sabri dismisses the British compromise proposal calling it “an attempt to beautify a rejected aggressive project.”

On 13 March Iraqi technicians begin destroying three more banned al Samoud 2 missiles.

On 14 March 2003 In a speech in Santiago Chilean President Ricardo Lagos proposes five “benchmark” tests, a three-week deadline, and a final council judgment. [Yes, but the French don’t like such a “test,” and the French should rule the world through the UN]

On 15 March The office of the chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix announces that it has received a report from Iraq containing details of the VX chemical agents it says it destroyed 12 years ago. [But there’s no evidence beyond the claim that it was destroyed]

On 15 March ABC News Online reports that Iraqi troops have started planting mines along the border with the Kurdish-controlled north of the country. [And we should keep letting them do that]

On 16 March US President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar hold an emergency summit in the Azores. They give the United Nations 24 hours to enforce “the immediate and unconditional disarmament” of Saddam Hussein. President Bush says: “Tomorrow is a moment of trut for the world. Tomorrow is the day that we can determine whether or not diplomacy will work.”

On 16 March 2003 The official Iraqi News Agency says President Saddam has warned that if Iraq was attacked, it will take the war anywhere in the world “wherever there is sky, land or water.” [There is no question that Saddam Hussein has no intention of fully cooperating. Only a fool would think otherwise. The problem is that there are so damn many fools]

On 16 March France, Russia and Germany issue a joint declaration, saying there was no justification for a war on Iraq and that UN weapons inspections were working.

On 17 March 2003 Peter Goldsmith, Attorney General for England and Wales, set out his government’s legal justification for an invasion of Iraq. He said that Security Council Resolution 678 authorised force against Iraq, which was suspended but not terminated by Resolution 687, which imposed continuing obligations on Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. A material breach of resolution 687 would revive the authority to use force under resolution 678. In Resolution 1441 the Security Council determined that Iraq was in material breach of resolution 687 because it had not fully carried out its obligations to disarm, and in early 2003 sent teams of weapons inspectors to verify the facts on the ground. [And there is also that U.N. “all means necessary to enforce” resolution from 28 Sep 2002 that has been conveniently forgotten.]

On 18 March 2003 Britain, Spain and the United States withdraw a draft resolution seeking UN Security Council authority for military action to disarm Iraq, after concluding a consensus by the Security Council will not be possible. [And never will be possible].

On 18 March US President George W. Bush gives a televised speech saying “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing.” [This is the fourth offer].

On 18 March The British Government votes to allow military action in Iraq with 412 votes for and 149 against. [But I thought this was George Bush’s war. Mind you, there were similar overwhelming numbers in the US House and Senate. But Britain has the same type of cowards the US does, who vote for a war, then retreat from it and start stabbing the men still fighting in the back].

On 19 March Saudi Arabia officially proposes that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein should go into exile as a last-ditch effort to avert war. A Saudi diplomatic source says that “the kingdom, and other parties, are exerting maximum effort to prevent a devastating war and they have proposed the idea of exile for Saddam and securing a safe haven for him and his family”.

On 19 March 2003 Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appears on national television and rejects the US ultimatum to leave the country or face war, saying “this battle will be Iraq‘s last battle against the tyrannous villains and the last battle of aggression undertaken by America against the Arabs.” [That’s right; I’m sure somewhere that there is a tape of Bush saying “We’ll go after Jordan next!”]

On 19 March The Iraqi parliament unanimously rejects the US ultimatum for President Saddam Hussein to leave the country and says any US-led invasion of Iraq will end in defeat.

On 19 March At the UN Security Council, Germany, France and Russia condemn any military action. [Is that a surprise, or what?]

On 19 March Chief UN Weapons inspector Hans Blix tells the UN Security Council that “I naturally feel sadness that 3 months of work carried out in Iraq have not brought the assurances needed about the absence of weapons of mass destruction or other proscribed items in Iraq.” [This is completely correct: we rightfully demanded assurances, and Iraq did nothing to provide such assurance. We rightfully demanded that the UN produce a resolution that had some kind of teeth, and some kind of consequence for noncompliance, but a few key countries repeatedly declared and demonstrated that no such resolution would ever come.]

On 19 March 2003 Thailand expels three Iraqi diplomats because they posed a threat to national security. On 18 March Germany’s foreign ministry said that four Iraqi diplomats had been ordered to leave the country for activities “incompatible with their diplomatic status.”

On 19 March Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declares his support for the United States‘ stance on Iraq but says Italy will take no direct part in a US-led military assault.

On 20 March 2003 US President George W Bush announces that he has launched war against Iraq: “My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger… On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign… this will not be a campaign of half measures and we will accept no outcome but victory.” [President Bush doesn’t like a campaign of “half measures”? Then he must have been really annoyed by the 1/1000th measures that the U.N. had been providing].

In my editorial comments, I state three things that I do not attempt to prove here:

1) That the U.N. oil for food program is corrupt.

2) That specific countries which oppose any meaningful U.N. resolution containing consequences for Iraq if it does not fully cooperate with weapons inspections illegitimately benefit from the oil for food program.

3) That specific countries which oppose any meaningful U.N. resolution containing consequences for Iraq if it does not fully cooperate with weapons inspections engage in significant weapons sales with Iraq.

The establishment of these facts will take up my third article in this series, “Iraq War Justified.”

See also Part 1: Iraq War Justified: Lessons from Saddam’s History

See also Part 3: Iraq War Justified: Paralysis, Corruption at U.N. Made Truth Impossible