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Bagdad: tribuna para defender al pueblo de Mesopotamia
Unable to prove their case that Saddam Hussein's government represents a formidable threat to the American public, the Bush administration and its supports have made several statements suggesting that no evidence is needed to justify a U.S. invasion of Iraq - Why? Because he is `evil' and because he `hates us,' they say.

`And as far as I'm concerned, it means at some time -- maybe not next, but some time -- going after Saddam Hussein.   We don't have to prove he was involved with Sept. 11 or with Al Qaeda. We know he hates the United States.'    [emphasis added] -- Senator Zen Miller  [Atlanta Business Chronicle 1/14/02 Table of Contents 1       Statements by U.S. officials asserting that the U.S. needs no evidence of involvement in the 9-11 attacks or possession of weapons of mass destruction to justify the removal of Saddam Hussein.

2       Statements in the media asserting that the U.S. needs no evidence of involvement in the 9-11 attacks or possession of weapons of mass destruction to justify the removal of Saddam Hussein.

3       Other statements and reports indicating that the Bush administration feels that it is under no obligation to substantiate its accusations against Iraq.

4.   Observations

 

 

1       Statements by U.S. officials asserting that the U.S. needs no evidence of involvement in the 9-11 attacks or possession of weapons of mass destruction to justify the removal of Saddam Hussein.

a         Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense.

i      Donald Rumsfeld said at one point- "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence."  [Dawn 6/7/02]

ii      On August 20, 2002, in an interview with Fox News, Rumsfeld mocked calls from Washington, Europe and the Arab world demanding that the Bush administration show them evidence to substantiate the hawks' claims that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the U.S. and its allies.  He stated, "Think of the prelude to World War Two.  Think of all the countries that said, well, we don't have enough evidence. I mean, Mein Kampf had been written. Hitler had indicated what he intended to do.  The people who argued for waiting for more evidence have to ask themselves how they are going to feel at that point where another event occurs."  [Telegraph 8/21/02]

iii      On December 3, 2002, Rumsfeld asserted that the U.S. would be justified in using military action against Iraq, even without the approval of the UN.  He said, "Everyone does not have to agree for any member country to take appropriate action." [emphasis added] He explained: "The United States knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. The U.K. knows that they have weapons of mass destruction. Any country on the face of the earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction." [Washington Times, 12/4/02; BBC 12/4/02]

 

b         Richard Perle, head of the Defense Policy Board and a top Rumsfeld adviser.

i      In an interview with the Financial Times, he stated "I don't think there's anything (Iraqi leader) Saddam Hussein could do that would convince us there's no longer any danger coming from Iraq."  [Dawn 2/4/02]

 

c         Dick Cheney, Vice President.

i      On August 7, 2002, Dick Cheney stated, "Many of us, I think, are skeptical that simply returning the inspectors will solve the problem.  A debate with [Mr Hussein] over inspectors simply, I think, would be an effort by him to obfuscate, delay and avoid having to live up to the accords that he signed up to at the end of the Gulf war."  Financial Times 8/7/02]

 

d         Andrew Card, White House Chief of Staff.

i      On November 10, 2002, he told NBC's "Meet the Press", "The UN can meet and discuss, but we don't need their permission [to invade Iraq]."  [Guardian 11/10/2002; Reuters 11/10/02]

 

e         Republican Senator Fred Thompson

i      He has repeated the mantra coming from the White House that all states that harbor terrorists are legitimate targets in the war and that there is no need to prove the existence of any ties to the 9/11 bombings. 
 

f          Democratic Senator Zell Miller. 

i      He advocated that the U.S. `bomb the hell out of" Iraq.  After receiving criticisms for the comment he defended his remarks saying, "So far 12,000 tons -- 24 million pounds -- of bombs have been dropped on our enemies. If that's not bombing the hell out of them, I don't know what is.  I received some criticism [for the remark, but] the criticism did not come from any who, as I just a few days after the attacks, had stood on Ground Zero amid that smoldering pile of rubble that had become the graveyard for thousands of innocent Americans."  He then reiterated his position saying, "And as far as I'm concerned, it means at some time -- maybe not next, but some time -- going after Saddam Hussein.   We don't have to prove he was involved with Sept. 11 or with Al Qaeda. We know he hates the United States."  He also recommended reinstating the draft.  [emphasis added] [Atlanta Business Chronicle 1/14/02]

 

g         John Negroponte, US ambassador to the UN

i      He stated, "The United States has agreed to discuss any material breach with the Security Council, but without jeopardizing our freedom of action to defend our country. If Iraq fails to fully comply, the United States and other nations will disarm Saddam Hussein.  If the Security Council fails to act decisively in the event of further Iraqi violations, this resolution does not constrain any member state from acting to defend itself against the threats posed by Iraq, or to enforce relevant U.N. resolutions and protect world peace and security." [Inter Press Service 11/7/02]

 

h         John Bolton, US Undersecretary for Arms Control

i      On August 3, he told BBC Radio 4's today program, "Let there be no mistake - while we also insist on the reintroduction of the weapons inspectors, our policy at the same time insists on regime change in Baghdad and that policy will not be altered, whether inspectors go in or not."  Even though other U.S. officials had been saying similar things since February 2002 without attracting much criticism, his words apparently received a lot of attention.  The London Observer reported, "His words set alarm bells ringing in London, since the legality of any attack on Iraq - already questioned by the Government's own lawyers - depends on claiming to be acting against infringements of the post-Gulf War disarmament pact rather than simply overthrowing a dictator. Foreign Office sources were quick to dissociate the Foreign Secretary from Bolton's comments."  [Observer 8/4/02; see also Sydney Morning Herald 8/5/02]

 

i           Senator Trent Lott, Republican minority leader.

i      He told reporters on July 31, 2002 that he did not feel that the administration needed Congressional approval to invade Iraq.  "I suspect that Al Qaeda elements are in Iraq.  The resolution we passed, we made it very clear the president has the authority to pursue the Al Qaeda wherever they may be found, in whatever country, which could very well include Iraq."  He provided no evidence to substantiate his suspicions.  [New York Times 8/1/02]

 

j           Unnamed senior officials.

i      The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted one senior official who stated, "This is not an argument about whether to get rid of Saddam Hussein. That debate is over. This is . . . how you do it."  [Philadelphia Inquirer 2/13/02]

ii      On August 28, 2002, Reuters reported that according to a U.S. official, "The United States will seek Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's ouster regardless of whether he lets U.N. specialists resume inspections of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability."  The report added, "Asked whether there was anything the Iraqi leader could do to change the U.S. determination to oust him, the official said there was not."  The official then bluntly stated, "Regime change is the policy of this government." [Reuters 8/28/02]

 

2       Statements in the media asserting that the U.S. needs no evidence of involvement in the 9-11 attacks or possession of weapons of mass destruction to justify the removal of Saddam Hussein.

a         October 15, 2001.  Richard Lowry.  National Review.

i      In the neoconservative National Review, Richard Lowry wrote, "U.S. should jettison half-measures and invade and occupy Iraq."  But, "firm evidence should be unnecessary for the U.S. to act. It doesn't take careful detective work to know that Saddam Hussein is a perpetual enemy of the United States....At the very least, Iraq should be allowed to be dismembered by its perpetually warring factions, or, ideally, invaded and occupied by the American military and made into a protectorate." The aim "would be a pro-Western and reasonably successful regime, somewhere between the Shah of Iran and the current government of Turkey.... It would guarantee the West's access to oil, and perhaps break up OPEC.... And it would be a nice economic benefit to the United States...." [Lowry 10/15/01]

 

b         October 15, 2001.  Max Boot.  Australian

i      Max Boot, the opinion page editor of The Wall Street Journal, wrote an op-ed piece in the Australian titled, "Colonise wayward nations -- a dose of US imperialism may be the best response to terrorism."  In it he wrote: "The debate about whether Hussein was implicated in the September 11 attacks misses the point. Who cares if he was involved in this particular barbarity? He has been involved in so many barbarities over the years -- from gassing the Kurds to raping the Kuwaitis -- that he has already earned himself a death sentence a thousand times over. But it is not just a matter of justice to depose Hussein. It is a matter of self defence: he is working to acquire weapons of mass destruction that he or his confederates will unleash against the US and its allies if given the chance. ... Once Afghanistan has been dealt with the US should turn its attention to Iraq. It will probably not be possible to remove Hussein quickly without a US invasion and occupation.... Once Hussein is deposed, an American-led international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul should be imposed." See WSWS 10/18/01 ; Guardian 10/24/01 for commentaries]

 

c         November 20, 2001.  Dick Morris.  New York Post. and Jewish World Review [11/21/02]

i      Morris contended that we need no evidence of Iraqi complicity in the 9-11 attacks.  He wrote: "Do we have proof that Saddam was behind the 9/11 attack or the anthrax letters? Don't even go down that road. We have ample proof of Saddam's commitment to the development of weapons of mass destruction, his use of terror (and gas) against his own people and his fomenting of terror against us throughout the world." [Jewish World Review 11/21/02]

 

d         January 13, 2002.  Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state.  The Washington Post and The Age [Australia]

i      Kissinger argued that the U.S. should remove Saddam Hussein from power and that evidence of complicity in the 9/11 attacks was unnecessary.  Kissinger argued that the Saddam regime must be taken out regardless of whether or not he was complicit in the 9-11 attacks.  Because he presumably is manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, he is a threat to his neighbors, to America's friends, and to U.S. `geopolitical' interests.  He wrote, "The issue is not whether Iraq was involved in the terrorist attack on the United States. The challenge of Iraq is essentially geopolitical. Iraq's policy is implacably hostile to the United States and to certain neighboring countries."  The minimum requirement, he claimed, should be to demand that he admit UN weapons inspectors into his country without conditions. [Kissinger 1/13/02]

 

3       Other statements and reports indicating that the Bush administration feels that it is under no obligation to substantiate its accusations against Iraq.

a         New York Times, March 6, 2002.

i      On March 6, the New York Times reported, "The question hanging over the United Nations now is whether the United States really wants arms inspectors to return, based on public comments made by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld questioning their value.  Some diplomats say the United States would not want inspectors on the ground if a military attack were being planned; the last inspectors to work in Iraq had to be pulled out ahead of American bombing in 1998." [New York Times 3/6/02]

 

b         Condoleezza Rice, August 15, 2002

i      Summary.

(A)   On August 15, 2002, Condoleezza Rice made numerous assertions that the U.S. had the moral duty to remove Saddam Hussein. In an interview broadcasted by BBC, she said, "This is an evil man who, left to his own devices, will wreak havoc again on his own population, his neighbors and, if he gets weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, on all of us.  There is a very powerful moral case for regime change. We certainly do not have the luxury of doing nothing.  . . .  Clearly, if Saddam Hussein is left in power doing the things that he is doing now, this is a threat that will emerge, and emerge in a very big way.  . . . The case for regime change is very strong.  This is a regime that we know has twice tried and come closer than we thought at the time to acquiring nuclear weapons. He has used chemical weapons against his own people and against his neighbors, he has invaded his neighbors, he has killed thousands of his own people. He shoots at our planes, our airplanes, in the no-fly zones where we are trying to enforce U.N. security resolutions.  . . .  History is littered with cases of inaction that led to very grave consequences for the world.  We just have to look back and ask how many dictators who ended up being a tremendous global threat and killing thousands and, indeed, millions of people, should we have stopped in their tracks."  [Washington Post 8/16/02; see also Guardian 8/16/02]

 

ii      Observations.

(A)   Former foreign office minister Tony Lloyd, Labour MP for Manchester Central told the BBC, "Her speech sounded very much like the kind of rhetoric we sometimes do hear from fairly tinpot regimes around the world where the agenda isn't to convince the outside world but to make sure the public at home believe the regime.  It isn't good enough in the modern world to say trust the White House because they are Americans. We have got to be a bit more sophisticated than that."  [Daily Mirror 8/16/02; Guardian 8/16/02]

 

4       Observations.

a         Anthony Pratkanis, a psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

i      Anthony Pratkanis, author of Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion, likened the administration and media's portrayal of Saddam as `evil' to the propaganda of the 1940's, which sought to demonize the German population. He also indicated that the propaganda against Germans had often been based on more than just a calculated use of imagery, noting several cases in which it had been based on outright lies.  For example, people were misled into believing that the Germans were cutting off the hands of young children and breasts of women. Another story had it that Germans were boiling their enemies in order to make soap.