Beating about the Bush

The Bush Junta's official leader spoke to the American Enterprise Institute at the end of February outlining its plans for post-war Iraq.

If either the US or UK had a functioning media then his comments would quickly be ripped apart for the hypocritical nonsense they are. But we have a corporate media, whose task seems to be to report the words of the powerful and not subject them to any sort of meaningful analysis. Therefore no historical context, nor any questioning of the assumptions and assertions underlying the rhetoric.

For example, Bush stated that in Iraq "a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world." Yet UN weapons inspectors have found no evidence of either hidden weapons of mass destruction or an on-going programme to produce them. Previous weapons inspectors have stressed that Iraq has no such weapons nor is able to produce them. The Bush Junta itself cannot provide any evidence to support its allegations. Yet this has not stopped its agents repeating this assertion as if it were proven fact. Similarly, Bush asserted that this "same tyrant has close ties to terrorist organizations, and could supply them with the terrible means to strike this country." Yet no evidence of any links with Bin Laden or his group has been provided.

So when Bush states that "America will not permit it," we have to ask "permit what?" All we have is unsubstantiated assertions and that is no basis for war.

Then there is the lack of historical context. He who controls the past controls the future, said George Orwell in 1984. And every state takes that maxim on board. This can be seen from Bush's speech, where key historical facts were at best ignored or their opposite presented.

Take, for example, Bush's comment that the "current Iraqi regime has shown the power of tyranny to spread discord and violence in the Middle East." Unsurprisingly, he failed to note that barring the invasion of Kuwait, the US regime actively supported Saddam in this spreading of "discord and violence." And even the invasion of Kuwait was given the green light by US officials before it happened.

And we are entitled to simply laugh when Bush claimed that the US would seek to "ensure" that Iraq's natural resources "are used for the benefit of the owners -- the Iraqi people." Are we to forget the numerous US supported coups against governments across the world which actually did that? Are we to ignore the bloody events that occurred after these coups in such places as Guatemala, Chile and Iran? Or the fact that the US armed and trained those states in applying murderous tyranny against their own populations? Apparently so, just as we are to forget that while Iraq "has known three decades of dictatorship, secret police, internal divisions, and war" the US government supported these for two-thirds of that time (and supports, and has supported, these in other regimes across the globe).

Nor was the rewriting of history the only tool from BB utilised by GB. The usual doublethink as regards the UN was present. According to Bush, America "believe[s] in the Security Council" ("so much that we want its words to have meaning"). He then proclaimed that the American state will ignore it if it does not do what he wants. Who else was aware that the Security Council's "founding purpose" was to do what the American elite wanted it to do and nothing else? And why did the numerous US vetoes not mean "defiance" of the "force of right" or signify "more excuses and delays"? Surely US vetoes show that as far as the US elite are concerned, the Council's "authority" is "empty," at best a fig-leaf for its imperialist designs?

Needless to say, Bush forgot to mention the role of US companies and governments in creating the "global threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction" he decries now. When Donald Rumsfeld went to meet Saddam in the 1980s and sell him weapons (including chemical and biological ones) he was simply doing what the US does with all its client regimes. And until his invasion of Kuwait, the atrocities Bush (rightly) attacks Saddam for were no great deal. They did not affect the US government's relationship with him, nor did it affect the weapons deals and aid packages.

And then there was the "moral" pretence for bombing the Iraqi people. Bush claimed that the Iraqi people's "lives and their freedom matter little to Saddam Hussein -- but Iraqi lives and freedom matter greatly to us." Ignoring the obvious fact that their lives and freedom did not matter in the slightest before now, we can safely say that for the Bush Junta they still mean nothing. The plight of the Iraqi people is being used to justify US imperialism. A concern for the life of Iraqi's does not explain the US war plans. The first two days will see over 700 cruise missiles launched at Baghdad. "The sheer size of this has never been contemplated before," one Pentagon strategist told CBS News. "There will not be a safe place in Baghdad." This is called "shock and awe." The idea is to crush the enemy's will to fight. According to military strategist Harlan Ullman, the planned attack will be "rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima." This will "take the city down," wipe out the water and power supplies in Baghdad, and leave the Iraqis "physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted." And this is just the beginning.

But beyond all this, there are Bush's own words. Trusting that no one in the media will analyse his nonsense, he stated at the beginning of his speech that "we hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm, fully and peacefully." So if Saddam says "daddy" then the Iraqi people will be left to his tender mercies. Clearly, "Iraqi lives and freedom" don't matter that much (about as much as they did in the first two decades of Saddam's rule and in 1991)

The Kurds' wishes were, as usual, ignored as the US would bring "stability and unity to a free Iraq." But US blessings are not limited to the Kurds. All Iraqi's must watch out, as the US "will provide security against those who try to spread chaos, or settle scores, or threaten the territorial integrity of Iraq." Given that for any ruler a popular uprising equals "chaos," it is clear that the use of state terror in post-Saddam Iraq will continue. Rather than rely on Saddam to put down revolts (as he did in 1991, under the watchful eye of America), Bush is making it clear that US and UK troops will play the same role. As has been proven time and time again, the American elite does not want people power in any country (including its own). And let us not forget that as late as 1989 the US was describing Saddam as a source of "stability" in the Middle East, which places Bush's desire for it in context.

Which, of course, shows the hypocrisy at the heart of this. No ruling class wants meaningful participation in decision making by the masses. When Bush states that "any future the Iraqi people choose for themselves will be better than the nightmare world that Saddam Hussein has chosen for them" this is equally as applicable to his own regime. Even the formalised, for the rich only representative democracy in America was ignored when the people voted for the wrong person in the last elections.

So when Bush states that "a liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions," he is right. But it was precisely this possibility that lead "America's interests" in supporting Saddam in the first place and let him repress the popular revolts in 1991. "America's belief in liberty" has always meant one thing: the America's ruling class's belief that any means to used in protecting their property, power and profits, both at home and aboard, are justified and moral.

One thing we can all agree upon, that when Bush said "Free people will set the course of history, and free people will keep the peace of the world" he did not literally mean it. People can only be free when they have meaningful control over their own fates -- politically, socially and economically. It means that concentrations of power have to be destroyed. It means that the farce of representative government must be replaced by anarchism, by freely federating, self-governing, participatory communities. It means that capitalism must be replaced libertarian socialism, wage slavery and corporations replaced by workers' self-management of production and workers' councils.

And it that the means to that end are clear. Free people must use direct action and solidarity to change the world. A step along this road will be for free people to keep the peace of the world by stopping warmongers and imperialists like Bush from imposing his will on the world.

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