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Stop War * president's real goal * Iraq War/for Dummies

10 October 2002

1) Stop the War Take Action!
2) The president's real goal in Iraq
3) Bush's War on Iraq for Dummies by Bernard Weiner

Editor's Notes:
In Item 1, please consider linking to send email to all fifty senators at once. Many groups are uniting in the call for peace and freedom. The National Lawyers Guild's press release is in this item, too, stating their case for supporting civil disobedience to stop needless war atrocities. Take a Stand!

Item 2 is an article that offers a clear analysis of the real goal and strategies behind the Bush administration's interests on attacking Iraq.

Item 3 links to a new piece by Bernard Weiner, "Bush's War on Iraq for Dummies."

Tell your Congressman to stand up for PEACE and not some preemptive, domination-striking, terror-producing, policy that will continue to plunge economies and the environment in ruin.


"It is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners."

- Albert Camus

1) Stop the War Take Action!

Send an e-mail to over 50 Senators at once:

Sponsored by Voice4Change
Changing Hearts and Minds

October 10, 2002

Dear Senator,

The current rush to war with Iraq concerns me deeply. I do not condone the actions of Saddam Hussein, but the people of Iraq do not deserve to suffer more as a result of his actions.

If we go to war with Iraq, once again the world will see the United States as a perpetrator of violence and hate. We will be seen in the world community as a "bully" a Rogue State.

Please ponder these questions on the proposed US attack on Iraq

Why Now?
What has changed since 1991?
What has Iraq done to threaten its neighbors since 1991?
Can we not re-visit this issue after the United Nations attempts to act?
Where is the imminent danger?

These unanswered questions lead me to call on you to take the following actions this week in the Unite States Senate

1. Support any effort to delay the vote i.e. Filibuster, Cloture motion.
2. Vote YES on the Levin Resolution
3. Vote NO on the Lieberman-Bayh sponsored Resolution even if amended by Biden-Lugar

Respectfully Submitted,

To sign and send this letter to Senators, go to:

This is from

Our friends in Congress have been telling us that something amazing has been happening this week. Many of their colleagues have been finding their backbones and are starting to oppose Bush's war. One Member of Congress told us that the 57,000 faxes TrueMajority members have sent in over the past few weeks has been just the calcium these people will need to keep up the struggle during this week's debate and over the next few months. If nobody opposes Bush he'll have the blank check he wants to go to war. So fill out this form to send free faxes opposing a unilateral invasion of Iraq to your Members of Congress.

Remember, even if Bush wins the vote this week he will still need the support of Congress and The People if he is going to go through with this dangerous and expensive folly in Iraq. Now is the time to get as many Members of Congress on record against this war. We'll need them in the months to come.

This is from Eli Pariser, from
10 Oct 2002, 06:18:27 AM
Subject: CIA: War will make us less safe, not more

Yesterday, the Central Intelligence Agency released a letter that turns President Bush's argument for war on its head. In it, a senior intelligence official said that the likelihood of an attack by Saddam using weapons of mass destruction in the "foreseeable future" is low. But he went on to say that if Saddam was attacked, the likelihood of him using chemical or biological weapons or providing them to terrorist organizations was "pretty high."

In other words, a war against Iraq would likely create exactly the disaster that President Bush claims it will prevent. It may be the only circumstance under which Saddam Hussein would use whatever chemical or biological weapons are at his disposal against the United States. (There still isn't any solid evidence that Saddam has any weapons of mass destruction.)

The CIA letter makes it clear that a war on Iraq will make our country and the world less safe, not more safe. Since the debate in the Senate could end any day now, please call your Senator right now:

Contact both your Senators and your Representative. Call the Congressional Switchboard for the numbers of Washington offices(202)224-3121. You are also encouraged to write, email or fax.
For more Congressional contact info, visit:

You can also call the Congress at the Capital Switchboard toll free at 1-800-8395276 and ask to be connected to your member of Congress.

Make sure the staffer you speak to knows that you're a constituent. Then tell him or her that in light of the new CIA testimony, you hope the Senator will vote against authorizing a war on Iraq. Feel free to explain why you're worried about the effects of a war on our security.

More information on Byrd filibuster by Ken Schubert

I have now spoken more extensively with Senator Byrd's offices in both Washington D.C. and Charleston. They confirmed that they are being inundated with phone calls and are having difficulty taking all of them. However, they both emphasized that it is much more important for you to call your own Senator and express your views, including support for Senator Byrd's filibuster plans. Even if you believe that your Senator is staunchly for a war, such calls will provide Senator Byrd with a firmer foundation for his efforts.

National Lawyers Guild will support civil disobedience



Will Provide Legal Support and Materials Regarding Necessity Defense

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) condemns George Bush's proposed preemptive strike and escalation of the ongoing war against Iraq as violating the Constitution of the United States and the United Nations Charter. The Guild will seek to provide legal support for individuals and groups practicing non-violent civil disobedience regarding the "necessity" defense, which is conduct that an actor believes to be necessary to avoid harm to himself or to another. Such behavior may be justifiable, provided that the harm sought to be avoided by such conduct is greater than the harm which the law defining the offense seeks to prevent.

"The Guild commits its legal resources to support those who engage in acts of civil disobedience against such unauthorized military action," says Guild President Bruce Nestor. The Guild is preparing a legal brief and supporting materials related to the necessity defense and military action against Iraq, and will distribute those materials nationally.

Immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, a relatively small group of individuals in the United States government -- primarily President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his Deputy Paul Wolfowitz -- began to develop pretexts for intensified military attacks against Iraq. No credible evidence connects Iraq to the crimes of September 11. One year later, these officials formally promulgated a doctrine under which the United States will "act preemptively," without the legally required authorization of the United Nations and the international community, or any legitimate claim of self-defense or defense of others, to bomb and invade Iraq. (National Security Strategy, Section V). Ongoing unilateral military attacks by the US against Iraq, consisting of bombing raids in the "no fly zones," are not authorized by any resolution of the UN Security Council. These bombing raids, as well as any escalated attacks, violate Article 1, Section 4 and Articles 41 and 42 of the UN Charter and other provisions of international law, which as ratified treaties are also part of the "supreme Law of the Land." (Constitution of the United States, Article VI Section 2).

The forthcoming air attacks and invasion of Iraq will kill innocent civilians, threaten international peace and security, undermine the rule of law, and create a backlash against the people of the United States. Under well-accepted general principles of criminal law applicable in every US jurisdiction, otherwise technically illegal acts may be justified by the necessity of preventing a greater wrong or danger -- a form of self-defense or defense of others. In this case there is ample legal necessity and justification for non-violent resistance to these illegal and immensely destructive, murderous actions by the top officials of the US government.

NLG President Bruce Nestor says that "The basic question raised by continuing and intensifying US aggression against Iraq is moral: whether US government officials are authorized to decide that the 'price is worth it,' for millions of people whose lives will be shaped -- and in many cases destroyed -- by the criminal actions of a handful of US leaders who hold themselves above the law." The fundamental principles of international law and democracy empower individuals to make this moral decision for themselves, regardless of the contrary actions of their leaders. US government officials forfeit legitimacy and the power to enforce laws against non-violent trespass and "disorder" when they pursue policies that result in war crimes. Non-violent civil disobedience in opposition to the US government's illegal preemptive wars is justified by the necessity of self-defense and defense of others.

The National Lawyers Guild was founded in 1937 as an alternative to the then-racially segregated American Bar Association. Currently, the NLG has nearly 5,000 members nationally - lawyers, legal workers, law students and jailhouse lawyers - committed to using the law as a vehicle for positive social change.

Published on Sunday, October 6, 2002 by the United Press International
1.5 Million March Against Attack on Iraq
Anti-War Rallies Change Italy on Iraq?
by Eric J. Lyman
ROME -- More than 1.5 million Italians took to the streets of dozens of cities Saturday afternoon and evening to protest possible U.S. military action against Iraq -- a surprise show of discord that could be fervent enough for the Italian government to re-think its support of Washington.

For the complete article, see:

2) The president's real goal in Iraq

The president's real goal in Iraq
Published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 9/29/02

The official story on Iraq has never made sense. The connection that the Bush administration has tried to draw between Iraq and al-Qaida has always seemed contrived and artificial. In fact, it was hard to believe that smart people in the Bush administration would start a major war based on such flimsy evidence.

The pieces just didn't fit. Something else had to be going on; something was missing.

In recent days, those missing pieces have finally begun to fall into place. As it turns out, this is not really about Iraq. It is not about weapons of mass destruction, or terrorism, or Saddam, or U.N. resolutions.

This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility and authority as planetary policeman. It would be the culmination of a plan 10 years or more in the making, carried out by those who believe the United States must seize the opportunity for global domination, even if it means becoming the "American imperialists" that our enemies always claimed we were.

Once that is understood, other mysteries solve themselves. For example, why does the administration seem unconcerned about an exit strategy from Iraq once Saddam is toppled?

Because we won't be leaving. Having conquered Iraq, the United States will create permanent military bases in that country from which to dominate the Middle East, including neighboring Iran.

In an interview Friday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld brushed aside that suggestion, noting that the United States does not covet other nations' territory. That may be true, but 57 years after World War II ended, we still have major bases in Germany and Japan. We will do the same in Iraq.

And why has the administration dismissed the option of containing and deterring Iraq, as we had the Soviet Union for 45 years? Because even if it worked, containment and deterrence would not allow the expansion of American power. Besides, they are beneath us as an empire. Rome did not stoop to containment; it conquered. And so should we.

Among the architects of this would-be American Empire are a group of brilliant and powerful people who now hold key positions in the Bush administration: They envision the creation and enforcement of what they call a worldwide "Pax Americana," or American peace. But so far, the American people have not appreciated the true extent of that ambition.

Part of it's laid out in the National Security Strategy, a document in which each administration outlines its approach to defending the country. The Bush administration plan, released Sept. 20, marks a significant departure from previous approaches, a change that it attributes largely to the attacks of Sept. 11.

To address the terrorism threat, the president's report lays out a newly aggressive military and foreign policy, embracing pre-emptive attack against perceived enemies. It speaks in blunt terms of what it calls "American internationalism," of ignoring international opinion if that suits U.S. interests. "The best defense is a good offense," the document asserts.

It dismisses deterrence as a Cold War relic and instead talks of "convincing or compelling states to accept their sovereign responsibilities."

In essence, it lays out a plan for permanent U.S. military and economic domination of every region on the globe, unfettered by international treaty or concern. And to make that plan a reality, it envisions a stark expansion of our global military presence.

"The United States will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia," the document warns, "as well as temporary access arrangements for the long-distance deployment of U.S. troops."

The report's repeated references to terrorism are misleading, however, because the approach of the new National Security Strategy was clearly not inspired by the events of Sept. 11. They can be found in much the same language in a report issued in September 2000 by the Project for the New American Century, a group of conservative interventionists outraged by the thought that the United States might be forfeiting its chance at a global empire.

"At no time in history has the international security order been as conducive to American interests and ideals," the report said. stated two years ago. "The challenge of this coming century is to preserve and enhance this 'American peace.' "

Familiar themes

Overall, that 2000 report reads like a blueprint for current Bush defense policy. Most of what it advocates, the Bush administration has tried to accomplish. For example, the project report urged the repudiation of the anti-ballistic missile treaty and a commitment to a global missile defense system. The administration has taken that course.

It recommended that to project sufficient power worldwide to enforce Pax Americana, the United States would have to increase defense spending from 3 percent of gross domestic product to as much as 3.8 percent. For next year, the Bush administration has requested a defense budget of $379 billion, almost exactly 3.8 percent of GDP.

It advocates the "transformation" of the U.S. military to meet its expanded obligations, including the cancellation of such outmoded defense programs as the Crusader artillery system. That's exactly the message being preached by Rumsfeld and others.

It urges the development of small nuclear warheads "required in targeting the very deep, underground hardened bunkers that are being built by many of our potential adversaries." This year the GOP-led U.S. House gave the Pentagon the green light to develop such a weapon, called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, while the Senate has so far balked.

That close tracking of recommendation with current policy is hardly surprising, given the current positions of the people who contributed to the 2000 report.

Paul Wolfowitz is now deputy defense secretary. John Bolton is undersecretary of state. Stephen Cambone is head of the Pentagon's Office of Program, Analysis and Evaluation. Eliot Cohen and Devon Cross are members of the Defense Policy Board, which advises Rumsfeld. I. Lewis Libby is chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Dov Zakheim is comptroller for the Defense Department.

'Constabulary duties'

Because they were still just private citizens in 2000, the authors of the project report could be more frank and less diplomatic than they were in drafting the National Security Strategy. Back in 2000, they clearly identified Iran, Iraq and North Korea as primary short-term targets, well before President Bush tagged them as the Axis of Evil. In their report, they criticize the fact that in war planning against North Korea and Iraq, "past Pentagon wargames have given little or no consideration to the force requirements necessary not only to defeat an attack but to remove these regimes from power."

To preserve the Pax Americana, the report says U.S. forces will be required to perform "constabulary duties" -- the United States acting as policeman of the world -- and says that such actions "demand American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations."

To meet those responsibilities, and to ensure that no country dares to challenge the United States, the report advocates a much larger military presence spread over more of the globe, in addition to the roughly 130 nations in which U.S. troops are already deployed.

More specifically, they argue that we need permanent military bases in the Middle East, in Southeast Europe, in Latin America and in Southeast Asia, where no such bases now exist. That helps to explain another of the mysteries of our post-Sept. 11 reaction, in which the Bush administration rushed to install U.S. troops in Georgia and the Philippines, as well as our eagerness to send military advisers to assist in the civil war in Colombia.

The 2000 report directly acknowledges its debt to a still earlier document, drafted in 1992 by the Defense Department. That document had also envisioned the United States as a colossus astride the world, imposing its will and keeping world peace through military and economic power. When leaked in final draft form, however, the proposal drew so much criticism that it was hastily withdrawn and repudiated by the first President Bush.

Effect on allies

The defense secretary in 1992 was Richard Cheney; the document was drafted by Wolfowitz, who at the time was defense undersecretary for policy.

The potential implications of a Pax Americana are immense.

One is the effect on our allies. Once we assert the unilateral right to act as the world's policeman, our allies will quickly recede into the background. Eventually, we will be forced to spend American wealth and American blood protecting the peace while other nations redirect their wealth to such things as health care for their citizenry.

Donald Kagan, a professor of classical Greek history at Yale and an influential advocate of a more aggressive foreign policy -- he served as co-chairman of the 2000 New Century project -- acknowledges that likelihood.

"If [our allies] want a free ride, and they probably will, we can't stop that," he says. But he also argues that the United States, given its unique position, has no choice but to act anyway.

"You saw the movie 'High Noon'? he asks. "We're Gary Cooper."

Accepting the Cooper role would be an historic change in who we are as a nation, and in how we operate in the international arena. Candidate Bush certainly did not campaign on such a change. It is not something that he or others have dared to discuss honestly with the American people. To the contrary, in his foreign policy debate with Al Gore, Bush pointedly advocated a more humble foreign policy, a position calculated to appeal to voters leery of military intervention. For the same reason, Kagan and others shy away from terms such as empire, understanding its connotations. But they also argue that it would be naive and dangerous to reject the role that history has thrust upon us. Kagan, for example, willingly embraces the idea that the United States would establish permanent military bases in a post-war Iraq.

"I think that's highly possible," he says. "We will probably need a major concentration of forces in the Middle East over a long period of time. That will come at a price, but think of the price of not having it. When we have economic problems, it's been caused by disruptions in our oil supply. If we have a force in Iraq, there will be no disruption in oil supplies."

Costly global commitment

Rumsfeld and Kagan believe that a successful war against Iraq will produce other benefits, such as serving an object lesson for nations such as Iran and Syria. Rumsfeld, as befits his sensitive position, puts it rather gently. If a regime change were to take place in Iraq, other nations pursuing weapons of mass destruction "would get the message that having them . . . is attracting attention that is not favorable and is not helpful," he says.

Kagan is more blunt.

"People worry a lot about how the Arab street is going to react," he notes. "Well, I see that the Arab street has gotten very, very quiet since we started blowing things up."

The cost of such a global commitment would be enormous. In 2000, we spent $281 billion on our military, which was more than the next 11 nations combined. By 2003, our expenditures will have risen to $378 billion. In other words, the increase in our defense budget from 1999-2003 will be more than the total amount spent annually by China, our next largest competitor.

The lure of empire is ancient and powerful, and over the millennia it has driven men to commit terrible crimes on its behalf. But with the end of the Cold War and the disappearance of the Soviet Union, a global empire was essentially laid at the feet of the United States. To the chagrin of some, we did not seize it at the time, in large part because the American people have never been comfortable with themselves as a New Rome.

Now, more than a decade later, the events of Sept. 11 have given those advocates of empire a new opportunity to press their case with a new president. So in debating whether to invade Iraq, we are really debating the role that the United States will play in the years and decades to come.

Are peace and security best achieved by seeking strong alliances and international consensus, led by the United States? Or is it necessary to take a more unilateral approach, accepting and enhancing the global dominance that, according to some, history has thrust upon us?

If we do decide to seize empire, we should make that decision knowingly, as a democracy. The price of maintaining an empire is always high. Kagan and others argue that the price of rejecting it would be higher still.

That's what this is about.

2002 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

3) Bush's War on Iraq for Dummies by Bernard Weiner
Bush's War on Iraq for Dummies
By: Bernard Weiner - 10/05/02

Once again, in need of help to sort through all the Iraq flak and confusion, I consult the oracle of that great publishing franchise that helps explain complicated matters in terms simple enough for even ordinary types like me.

Q. I don't get it. Just about everyone in the world -- including even his father's famous brain trust -- thinks that Bush attacking Iraq, with no provocation, is a terrible idea and will harm America's national interests. But Mr. Bush and his advisors don't seem to give a fig and bluster right on, convinced they're doing the right thing. Please explain.

A. Nothing is ever simple in politics. There are the things that are revealed, usually for a reason, and there is the stuff taking place behind the scenes, the subtext, as it were. Here, the visible reasons have to do with the fact that Saddam Hussein, in truth, is a very bad, dangerous man. Once he gets his hands on nuclear weaponry, to go along with his biological and chemical agents, he might well gain control of that region of the world, and thoroughly upset the status quo, which would be unbearable for Iraq's neighbors and for the U.S. So, the reasoning goes, better to take him out now, before he starts his mischief. The subtext: Bush&Co. see that the U.S.of A. is the world's only superpower and thus has a window of opportunity to do what it wants, take what it wants, while the doing and taking are good. In short, to remake the world in America's image, to structure a new world order that, in all things that matter, does America's bidding. By taking out Saddam, the word goes out: Don't mess with us, ever; if you do, you can expect the same treatment. Thus, if this theory of bullyish behavior is right, after some initial chaos, things will settle back into a fairly stable, America-friendly operational mode: oil&gas will remain safely in Western hands, and reasonably affordable; many nationalist rebellions will be put down as "terrorist" threats; the capitalist market will romp supreme. . .

To read the entire "Bush's War on Iraq for Dummies"
by Bernard Weiner, see:
Bush's War on Iraq for Dummies

Bernard Weiner, a playwright and poet, was the San Francisco Chronicle's theater critic for nearly two decades. Holder of a Ph.D. in government & international relations, he has taught American politics and international relations at Western Washington University and San Diego State University, and has written for The Nation, Village Voice, The Progressive and other political journals. He is a contributing writer for Liberal Slant. Bernard Weiner, Ph.D., also authored " 'The War on Terrorism' for Dummies," " The Middle East for Dummies," "The Intifadeh & Israel for Dummies" and "The Bush 9/11 Scandal for Dummies."

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