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War Against Iraq, Corporate Corruption Distraction
Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2002

Will the White House Distract Attention from Their Corporate Corruption With War Against the "Evil One" in Iraq?
by Tom Turnipseed

With increasing evidence evolving that President Bush and Vice-President Cheney are caught up in corporate corruption of their own creation and new polls showing that the public is beginning to perceive their perfidy, the danger of desperate men going to war to distract the public is appalling.

On July 16, 2002 the Dow Jones lost ground for the seventh straight day. Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan appeared before a Congressional committee attacking dishonest corporate executives and "an infectious greed" as causing "considerable uncertainty" in the U.S. economy. His wife, Andrea Mitchell reported on the Brian Williams Show that "Hawks favoring an attack (on Iraq) are winning in the White House". The same day both Paul Krugman and Nicholas Kristof chronicled the continuing saga of George W. Bush's slick and unsavory business deals as an official of Harken Energy and the Texas Ranger's baseball team in essays entitled "Bush and The Texas Land Grab" and "Steps To Wealth" on the op.ed. page of the New York Times.

Also on July 16, the Ipsos-Reid/Cook Political Report released polling data from July 11-14 revealing that only 42% of those polled would vote to re-elect Bush and the Zogby Poll reported that Bush's approval rating had dropped to 62%, down from 74% in February. The Zogby Poll reported that one in three Americans feel they are worse off than a year ago and 51% said they are less likely to invest in the stock market. Pollster John Zogby said, "Two out of three likely voters tell us they have an IRA or 401k. One look at their quarterly report and there goes confidence in the economy and the government. We are looking at a very close election....this is THE issue." The week before the September 11 terrorist attacks, voters gave Bush a 50% positive and 49% negative job rating, so it is apparent to White House strategists that war works wonders for his popularity.

Maybe that's why Andrea Mitchell now reports the war hawks are winning in the White House debate over how and when to make a "regime change" in Iraq. Maybe that's why one of those hawks, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, is in Turkey offering that economically troubled Muslim NATO state an easing of the more than $4 billion owed the U.S. for arms purchases as well as promising to push for congressional approval of a $228 million aid package for Turkey.

Wolfowitz said, "Turkey stands to benefit enormously" by a regime change in Iraq. The U.S. maintains airbases in Turkey. U.S. and Britain have used them for flights to enforce a no-fly zone over Northern Iraq. Turkey is publicly opposed to any military action against neighboring Iraq and has lost billions in trade since backing the U.S. in the 1991 Gulf War and observing subsequent trade sanctions, but the White House hawks seem determined to bribe and browbeat their leaders into going along with a U.S. invasion of Iraq. Wolfowitz also promised the Turkish leaders that the U.S. did not want an ethnic Kurdish state in Northern Iraq. The Turks fear an independent Kurdish state because of their 17 year war against the Kurds in which more than 20,000 Kurds were killed.

The War Hawks who rail against Saddam, the evil one, and accuse him of using poison gas on his own people, refer to the Kurds as the victims but Kurdish leaders in Northern Iraq say they will refuse to cooperate with any U.S.-inspired action to overthrow Hussein. Massoud Barzani, the leader of one of the two main political parties that control the Kurdish enclave in Northern Iraq said last month that, "The Iraq issue won't be solved by military or covert action." The Kurds have bitter memories of their 1975 struggle with Baghdad when the U.S. abruptly withdrew its support. Some of the Shi'ites in Southern Iraq have opposed Hussein but they also remember the duplicity of George Bush, Sr. who encouraged them to rise up against the Hussein government after the Gulf War but had their rebellion crushed without any help from the U.S.

The U.S. news media parrots the propaganda of the U.S. foreign policy establishment and the Bush administration about the imminent Iraqi threat of fomenting terrorism and manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, but virtually ignores evidence presented by credible sources like American Scott Ritter, a former U.N. arms inspector based in Iraq, who says that Iraq is effectively disarmed. Mainstream U.S. media has also ignored the blatant fact that the U.S. foreign policy establishment is determined to control the oil reserves of Iraq at any and all costs.

With lawsuits alleging crooked accounting tactics used by Dick Cheney as CEO of Halliburton Co. to personally enrich himself, The Washington Post reported that from 1997 till 2000 with Cheney at the helm, the Halliburton Co. did $73 million worth of business with Saddam the evil one. They sold him oil production equipment and spare parts through their subsidiaries in spite of U.S. imposed economic sanctions against Iraq.

During the Gulf War we bombed Iraq's eight multi-purpose dams, destroying flood control systems, irrigation, municipal and industrial water storage, and hydroelectric power. Major pumping stations were targeted and sewage facilities were destroyed. Article 54 of the Geneva Convention prohibits attacks on "drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works". After such deliberate destruction, we used sanctions to prevent Iraq from rebuilding, knowing epidemics would ensue. The United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF), estimates that well over a million Iraqis have died as a result. In 2000, UNICEF said that thousands die every month including many children who are without necessary medicine due to the sanctions. No wonder Bush doesn't want an International Criminal Court to have jurisdiction over the U.S. U.S. policy makers could be charged with genocide! Will Bush/Cheney cover their corruption with more war and killing of innocents?

Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and civil rights activist in Columbia, South Carolina.

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