During his recent, hour-long interview on Al-Arabiya TV, President Bush denied "the U.S. is gearing up to attack Iran" and dismissed as "'gossip' reports in the Arab press that he has issued orders to senior U.S. military officials to prepare for an attack on Iran at the end of January or in February." [AP, Arizona Daily Star, Oct. 6, 2007] He then added: "Evidently, there's a lot of gossip in parts of the country - world that try to scare people about me personally or my country or what we stand for."
Gossip is it? Or has the Decider simply repressed or forgotten all the lies he told during the run-up to his illegal, immoral invasion and murderous occupation of Iraq? For example, has Bush simply repressed or forgotten his lie on December 28, 2001, when, after an extensive secret briefing by General Tommy Franks about a future invasion of Iraq, he told the press that his discussion with Franks focused on the General's recent trip to Afghanistan and events occurring in that country? [Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, p. 65]
Perhaps Bush also has repressed or forgotten his interview with British reporter Trevor McDonald in early April 2002, during which he asserted, "I made up my mind that Saddam needs to go." When pressed by McDonald, Bush added: "People think that Saddam Hussein has no links with the al Qaeda network, and I'm wondering why you have….The worst thing that could happen would be to allow a nation, like Iraq, run by Saddam Hussein, to develop weapons of mass destruction, and then team up with terrorist organizations so they can blackmail the world." [Woodward, pp. 120-121]
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When pressed further about how he would remove Saddam, Bush dissembled by asserting: "I have no plans of attack on my desk." [Woodward, p. 121] Moreover, although Bush already was hip deep in planning the invasion of Iraq, he would dissemble on two additional occasions, asserting "I have no war plans on my desk," at press conferences in Germany and France on May 23 and May 26, 2002. [Ibid, p. 129]
Mr. Bush also seems to have repressed or forgotten his October 2, 2002 speech to Congressional leaders who had just presented their resolution on Iraq. Bush asserted: "None of us here today desire to see military conflict." Yet, more than a month earlier, on August 29, 2002, Bush had given the green light for war by affixing his signature to a Top Secret National Security Presidential Directive titled, "Iraq: Goals, Objectives and Strategy."
Not only did his signature cause the train of "military conflict" to leave the station, one element of his NSPD highlighted the inevitable conflict by emphasizing the need "to work with the Iraqi opposition to demonstrate that we are liberating, not invading Iraq." [Ibid, p. 155] Moreover, if Bush genuinely had no desire to see military conflict, why was he "pumping his fist as though instead of initiating a war he had kicked a winning field goal or hit a home run" just moments before his nationwide TV announcement that the war had begun? [Paul Waldman, Fraud, p. 8]
As I've written elsewhere, "Bush also lied in mid-July 2003, when he told reporters that 'we gave him [Saddam] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in.' In fact, Saddam did let the inspectors in. But, the Bush administration made them leave, lest they discover that no WMD existed and scotch the invasion."
Bush's numerous lies about why the United States needed to invade Iraq have been compounded by lies concealing other war crimes, most notably torture. As Andrew Sullivan has recently written, "Classic torture techniques, such as waterboarding, hypothermia, beatings, excruciating stress positions, days and days of sleep deprivation, and threats to family members (even children of terror suspects) were approved by Bush." [Sullivan, "We Must Confess," New York Post, Oct. 7, 2007]
A New York Times editorial got it right when it noted: "President Bush and his aides have not only condoned torture and abuse at secret prisons, but they have conducted a systematic campaign to mislead Congress, the American people and the world about those policies." [NYT, 7 Oct. 2007] Perhaps, such lies engender all the "gossip." But they certainly demonstrate that Bush "can't stand the truth!"
Many of the people who now doubt Bush's denial of plans to attack Iran probably recall his lie about Iran's nuclear program. On August 6, 2007, while speaking about Iran, Bush asserted: "This is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon." Sounds too eerily similar to Bush's lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, doesn't it? Yet, as any honest person with a brain in his head already knows, the Iranian government has repeatedly denied such a desire. Perhaps, Iran's leaders have been lying. But, Bush certainly lied.
Were Bush ever to step outside his delusional bubble, he'd learn that most people in the world, including most Americans, connect his lies about Iraq to his war in Iraq, as well as his lies denying torture to the continuation of such torture. Given Bush's track record, it's only natural for the world to conclude that his lies about Iran virtually guarantee that this reckless and dangerous war criminal will attack the Persians next. It's called "logic," not "gossip."
Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).
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