Hello! Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?

By Frederick P Mallay MBA, CPA
Co Chair Global Justice And Peace at Riverside Church

I prepare this article because I believe in the Gandhian principle of Non Violence and in Dr. Martin Luther King’s Peace movement.

All of God’s creation is sacred. We interrelate through different life experiences – inspiration, moral, philosophical, religious and theological. The ‘for-or-against’ participants come from different cultural context. There are huge differences in our inherited cultures, either within the west or between the East and West. The words that we are echoing evoke different responses. Within our same language, our differences can be huge. We must therefore try to be objective. Case in point, there are differences in interpretations within Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

We must respect one another civilly. President Woodrow Wilson pointed out: “America cannot be an ostrich with its head in the sand. Open covenants of peace openly arrived at ((May 27, 1916). America is the only idealistic nation in the world.” (September 8, 1919). So let us continue to have honest dialogue with those who are pro War and those who are anti War. Pro war always won. As Voltaire observed: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” Remember good and evil lurk in the human psyche. On a daily basis, we must take that inward journey towards the purification of our evil inclinations. We must heal the breach we had created to restore wholeness.
We can win without a war. Pay heed to the following and ponder:

Saint Paul: “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of those things.”

Confucius: “By nature men are nearly alike. By practice, they get to be widely apart.”
President Abe Lincoln: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Fellow citizens we cannot escape history.” (December1, 1862)
Sir Walter Scott: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive.”
Francis Bacon: “It is a strange desire to seek power and to loose liberty.”
President William McKinley: “War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.” (March 4, 1897)
Franklin D Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.” (March 4, 1933)
Publilium Syrus: “He whom many fear, has himself many to fear.”
Lord Acton: “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”
J. F. Kennedy: “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. (September 25, 1961) Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
Dutch Scientist Hank Houweling: “One of the causes of war is war itself. War produces warlike societies. War begets war and shapes human societies at it does. War reproduces itself. Warlike instincts lurking within the individual psyche.”
Phillip Berrigin: “Violence is, was, always be bankrupt, anti human – criminal always.”
His Holiness Pope John Paul II: “No Peace without Justice: No Justice without Forgiveness.” (January 1, 2002)
Mahatma Gandhi: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
Richard M. Nixon: “Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty, always remember others may hate you. Those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.” (August 9, 1974)
Lyndon B. Johnson: “Come let us reason together. Evil acts of the past are never rectified by evil acts of the present.” (July 21, 1964)
James Madison: “All power in human hands is liable to be abused.” (December18, 1825)
Ronald Reagan: “The glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past.” (March 8, 1983)
Hans Blix: “The US had no interest in objective information from arms inspector in days preceding the war.”

We are the misinformed, caught up in our daily rituals by the delusional that, in their constant drumbeat for war, have whipped up our frenzy. This is a war justified only by an illusion. So just where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction that threaten our immediate annihilation. Where are the linkages to Sept 11, and the connection to Al Qaeda from a secular Iraq? We are still searching. Are there opportunities for implanting and manipulating? Are we in the process of obtaining accessible independently verifiable hard evidence of weapons of mass destruction that is free of coercion? Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction so unmanageable? This was a war wrapped in mystery.

War is a deliberate thing carefully crafted and intentionally executed with the worse-case and best-case scenarios. War is the demonizing and dehumanizing of the enemies.

Every war produces many stories. There are stories of pretext, manipulation, deceit and blatant falsehoods; of false clarity derived from flawed analogies of stories of religious motivation; stories on the reluctance to think lucidly and carefully about underlying religious motivations; stories of evasion and invasion rather than solution and resolution; stories creating a national trauma, polarization and damaging our psyche and our constitution; stories that make people feel good under the ruse of evoking patriotism; stories about hidden agendas. This war was not like the others; this war was for benign and altruistic reasons, we are told.

We are acquainted with the rhetoric of war to force conformity of thought – the enemy as a terrible thorn in our flesh. And the use of language and images, e.g., the use of death squads instead of dying for a noble cause, regime change instead of administration change, a blow for freedom, a ruthless self appointed dictatorship, enemy fighters as thugs, the image of the enemy as savage and barbarian, the good guys representing the forces of civilization, of freedom of democracy, we fight because God is on our side; liberation rather than occupation; use the term coalition forces when it means in actuality only the US And UK forces.

War is about the communications strategy, the timing of the message and the discipline. Who appears when! A successful story must have a kernel of truth. War is an international principle of forceful action supposedly for humanitarian ends! International law and institutions of global governance ought to be made to catch up the reality of terrorism. War is about freedom and liberation.

We are reminded of horrors of the Second World War. Saddam was the embodiment of pure evil. The media evokes horrible images equated with the Hitlers and the Stalins. Why did America look the other way when Hitler and Mousolini murdered thousands of communists? Hitler was an ardent admirer of American Free Enterprise System.

The consolidated corporate media are morally the cheerleaders of the home team. They never reported the details of the thousands of Iraqi that die in the bombing and the atrocities. They never reported the details of the death of innocent civilians. In the final analysis, the ‘official’ stories predominate – the propaganda unit, the American state media, the subtle use of misinformation and deliberately leaked information, and the sanitization of war. These are the stories that are shaping and reshaping our history not only to make us feel good but also to make us feel vulnerable.

Secretary Rumsfeld said: “Free people are free to make mistakes, commit crimes and do bad things.” Are you turning our American Democracy in disarray, Mr. Rumsfeld? A chill wind is blowing in this nation, says Tim Robbins.

As the dust settles and reassessments are made, we Americans will have many unanswered questions, an abundance of loose ends, and reflections. Was it all planned way back in 1997? The world’s most powerful nation in the world attacked a powerless nation. The role of “The Industrial Military complex” seems paramount. What are the cost of financing the reconstruction? Will Japan, Germany, France have to lend money to US? Will there be indirect pressure on military powerless nations to finance the war and reconstruction? The US is the world’s biggest borrower, the biggest debtor.

The transformation of the US from a Creditor nation to a Debtor nation occurred under the Reagan Administration. Foreign investors now have claims on the US amounting to over $8 trillion of its financial assets. American Balance of Payments deficit is nearly $3 trillion since 1982. Foreign investors now hold about two-fifths of the Federal Debt.

Does this war really reflect our true idealism, our true national values or our aspirations? Did this war reflect a failure of the Democrats to provide an alternative policy absorbed into deep international co-operation rather than domination? There was no exhaustive debate to revitalize and strengthen us. We are really a decent people with core values such as “Governing by the consent of the governed and not the governed blindly consenting to the Government.”

The thinness of the justification of this war is abhorring. The Americans and the Brits were saturated ad nauseam with coded messages about Saddam’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Saddam! Bin Laden! We were sickened and became helpless by the media bombardment. They reiterated these phrases over and over: “Weapons of Mass Destruction. Let’s get him first before he gets us!”

What if no such reason for a just war exists, no causa belli? Iraq was already battered in the 1991 war. Iraq was devastated with ten years of US-led UN sanctions inflicting humanitarian disaster on an unprecedented scale. Iraq is fifth grade military. Did Bush invade Iraq to prove that he could? Did he correct the failures of his father? Is it about geopolitics, oil and imperialism? Is it about awarding reconstruction contracts to his political campaign contributors? The pigs are at the trough. No bidding is necessary! Absolutely certain, this is not Saddam’s patronage. One super greed for oil dominance spirals another greed for construction contracts for water, roads, train, phones, ports and drugs, etc. What if all the explanations of the war of liberation and freedom are bogus?

The Iraqi people have been starved and sickened by sanctions, then pulverized by US and British in two wars. Their country lies in ruins. Are we driven by God to destroy the world to save it?

The multinationals have landed. There are many multinationals with tax shelter havens off shore. Over $73 Billions of our tax revenues have been looted by many multi-corporations. Hello Halliburton! Hello Enron!

The US-UK military attacks and intervention have destroyed the reputation the US has enjoyed for so long as a benevolent power. The US has breached the Geneva Convention of its responsibility to protect certain sites such as the national banks and the national museum and archives. Democracies do not wage preventive wars.

Iraq is a devastated country. It is completely obliterated from its former magnificence. From Baghdad to oblivion! The Iraqis have more than a damaged psyche. The cradle of civilization, its moral, cultural, social and physical contributions to the western world are being destroyed. The memories that refreshed their visions and aspirations are being lost. The loss of these memories predicts a more empty future. Iraq, from dictatorship to anarchy, to invaders, to foreign domination, to military junta! Now the key economic decisions are to be made by the occupiers in every aspect of Iraqi’s lives.

Why is the US government always pressing the ‘terror’ button?

In earlier debates, the USA defended the use of chemical weapons – that chemical weapons were the most humane method of waging war, argued Brig. Gen. Augustin Prentiss, head of the US Army’s chemical Warfare Service, in 1937. Had Germany not surrendered when it did, our offensive, in my opinion, would have been a walk to Berlin due to chemical warfare. There were more than one million gas casualties worldwide during World War I, resulting in 78,000 deaths. “It is against all human nature to expect a nation to deny to itself the use of a weapon that will save it,” argued Sen. James Wadsworth. (Wall Street Journal, dated March 02, 2003 by Cynthia Crossen, “Shock and Awe” as subtitle. Does it follow that nations have a right to weapons of mass destruction?

No nation on planet earth can ever withstand the awesome ‘shock and awe’ of the USA aerial military might – the only super super power the world has ever seen. The US is in a military position to define and shape the interests of humankind. The US and UK have dropped 12,000 precision cluster bombs over Baghdad, 21,000 pounds airburst bombs with depleted uranium. The US and UK cluster bombings of electrical and water systems facilities violated the Geneva Convention. More bombs were dropped on Iraq than the combined bombs dropped during the two world Wars.

Will the Iraqis forget the British invasion in 1917? The “artificial carping of the Arab states with no respect for its natural boundaries, of rivers, mountains and plains.” Will Islamic teachings be incorporated in their newfound democracy? What will be the role of the clerics?

It is reasonable and possible, and I may wrong that Saddam Hussein, his sons and many generals were killed on the first night of the war under Operation Decapitation. His exact location has been determined by our sophisticated precision aerial technology and intelligence. If Saddam died on the first night, then why did the bombing not cease immediately?

Iraq, formerly known as Mesopotamia, the Cradle of Civilization, the Fertile Crescent, was viewed in adoration for over 4, 000 years. Today, it lies in ruins. The US and Britain wiped its grandeur from the face of the earth. Still, history is always our guide.

Oppression has many faces. Dictators fall and they do fall hard. Colonial oppression and domination also fall and fall even harder. Their symbols of oppression come crashing to the ground.

The law of the jungle prevails. The powerful devours the weak. It’s survival of the fittest. This powerful Bush Administration feels it has the absolute power to exert its will upon the poor.

Our Government is positioning us into selective amnesia, emboldening us in our aura and in our facade of invincibility and security. Let us remember atrocities committed against Americans but do not forget atrocities and destruction by the US (power elites).

The lessons on brutality cannot be ignored easily. The victimized today will become the victimizer tomorrow. Let us not forget. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” George Santayana.

The British Invasion on colonized America
New York City had experienced the devastation that Iraq is now experiencing.

In 1776, over 1000 British Battleships invaded New York City from the southern most tip. President George Washington lost 2, 000 soldiers in just two days. The entire western half of Manhattan lay in ruins. Fire engulfed buildings after buildings. The City lay in ruins. Over 80 percent of the city residents fled from British atrocity and unspeakable horror. The war lasted seven long years. NYC became a British Garrison. When the residents returned three years after, their beloved city, the Metropolis of the World, the emblem of the rise of American greatness, was in complete ruins. The ‘French Fries’ French helped the colonized Americans win the war against British Imperialism. King George’s statue then faced the same decapitation as Saddam Hussein’s.

A US soldier draped Saddam’s Statue with the US Flag on Liberation Day. The US flag was immediately taken down and immediately replaced with the Iraqi Flag. We have not seen the tens of thousands or the millions in the street in exuberance and in jubilation, as expected. The jubilation of liberation does not last long when new realities set in. Surely, the analogies of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the regimes of the old Soviet empire, Warsaw, Prague, Bucharest and Moscow cannot be taken too far. Analogies serve only as a guide. Their dynamics are in fact different.

In retrospect: Didn’t we slaughter some of our own people in the name of Westward Expansion – a euphemism for the annihilation and expulsion of the Indian Tribes originally inhabiting the continent? Aren’t many American Indians still living on reservations? Have we eradicated racism, homelessness and poverty in our own home land. Have we not come a long tortuous way?

Other nations may yearn for our Western style democracy, and view it as the best the human imagination has to offer. They may thirst to share our dreams and our aspirations. They yearn for us to be the beacon of hope: first for the globalization of human rights and then for the globalization of trade and investment. But they want us to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 217A (111) of December 10, 1948. So we must ask: “Will the occupier, the US, honor the Fourth Geneva Convention? It imposes on the military occupier the full responsibility for the well being of the civil population. It severely limits the occupier’s right to make uses of the occupied country’s resources. The UN cannot uplift the Embargo until a legitimate government is installed. So it appears that the US sale of Iraqi oil is illegal.

It is not only about ‘OIL and Resources (STUPID)’ in an ailing economy. It sounds Clintonian. It is also about the privatization of water, roads, trains, phones, ports. It’s about drugs. It is about rewriting trade laws and intellectual property rights, determining educational curriculum and imposing cultural ‘values’.

Why did the US soldiers take over and protect only the Oil Fields and the Ministry of Petroleum? Why did they not protect other resources such as schools, hospitals, banks, etc?

The Iraqis are penniless. Their savings are looted by bands of hoodlums. There are other magnificent buildings, the National Museum and Archives that should have been protected by the invading troops. There was no protection for Iraq National Museum. Over 17,000 ancient artifacts were stolen. Artifacts dating before pre historic man! It is the world’s largest collection of antiquities over 100, 000 years old. This must be recorded as one of the greatest cultural disasters in history. Can we imagine the rage and anger that will be spawn if the artifacts of the historical Jesus are looted immediately after an invasion? The looting of the National Museum is the greatest cultural disaster in history.

Economic decisions are made in boardrooms while bombs are falling. It is about privatization in the guise of reconstruction in which whole areas become free enterprise zones for the multinationals. Central drilling distributions reserves go to Exxon, Mobil, Shell. But Iraq is for the Iraqis! Iraqis are well-trained industrial technocrats. Iraq has a well-educated workforce. Iraqi ‘freedom’ comes pre shackled with irreversible economic decisions. Halliburton, Dime Corporations, Creative Associations International, Inc., Bechtel and those other companies in the occupier’s industrial military complex – they are like eagles that circle like vultures. There is no competitive bidding. This is war time!

The Iraqis had free education to PhD levels. They had free Health Care. Their inherent rights and access to free education and to free health care have evaporated with the advent and the onslaught of US Multinationals. The Bush Administration core belief is in the privatization of education and healthcare.

Where are the US ideals for the sanctity of human life? US Unilateralism and the Preemptive Doctrine. Elder George H.W. Bush: “I don’t apologize for the United States of America. I don’t care what the facts are.

I want a kinder gentler nation.” (August 18, 1988) “Thousand points of light.” (August 18, 1988) “Appeasement does not work.” (August 8, 1990) “Strength in the pursuit of peace is no vice, isolation in the pursuit of security is no vice.” (January 28, 1992) G.W. Bush: “Compassionate conservative (1999) soft bigotry of low expectations. We will rid the world of evil doers. We will call on freedom loving people to fight terrorism.” (September 16, 2001) “We have no intention of imposing our culture.” (January 29, 2002)

Let us examine the ideology and the pragmatism underlining US unilateralism and preemptive doctrine. The US declared war on Iraq, a defenseless nation, based on the doctrine of imminent threat. Did the US comply with the doctrine of proportionality? All up for grabs! The underlining reason is simple to understand.

The US will not permit a hostile state to acquire the ability to obstruct the flow of oil from the Gulf to the West. It must monopolize and control the Iraqi oil. Military alliances have to be formed with those industrialized economies dependent upon oil for survival. President Carter first articulated this principle in January of 1980 to justify the use of force by American troops in the Gulf. Zbigniew Brzezinski presents this strategy in his book The Grand Chessboard and also in Michael T. Kare Resource Wars: The new landscape of Global Conflict.

Where are our values taking us? Is it the concept of victor’s justice, to collect the spoils to the victors always go? They organize the world as they see fit, fighting not for democracy but for the expansion of the American Empire, a ‘benevolent’ superpower.

The Bush Administration is escalating the Doctrine of Preemptive Strike. It is based on the following assumptions. If you are defenseless, we will attack you. If you have deterrence, we will try diplomatically – come let us reason together. Syria is now labeled a terrorist state and a rogue state. Bush’s course of action will lead to widespread destabization in the Arab world. In tandem, Bush spiritual adviser’s son, Franklin Graham, is naming Islam a very wicked and evil religion. Do we have a state version of proselytising Christianity under the Bush Administration?

So is Syria targeted, then Iran, then maybe China? Then maybe headlong towards the disintegration of the European Union? The EU is a more powerful economic and trading partner than the US.

Destroy the world to save it! Why? It is our world and we must fight to protect it. War is not the only way. Peace is the preferred way. We can coexist harmoniously side by side based on the principles of truth and democracy. Where does our security come from? Is it through military might and domination? Are we Liberators or Invaders asserting the Preemptive Doctrine?

Not because “We thought we had power, we had wisdom,” cautioned Stephen Vincent Benet. And James Baldwin implored: “[We must always consider] The sanctity of human life and conscience of the civilized world. Strive for peace and harmony rather than war and death.” Now Mr. George W: Tear up and rip apart your Doctrine of Pre emptive strike.

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