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Saturday, June 21, 2008

WAR ON TERROR, OR WAR FOR OIL?

On September 11, 2001, radical Islamic extremists under the direction of Osama bin Laden murdered more than 3,000 innocent U.S. citizens with airplane hijackings and subsequent crashes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Immediately, President Bush and Congress correctly and justifiably called for a "War on Terror." The world empathetically stood behind us as we quickly deployed troops to Afghanistan with the stated aim of capturing bin Laden and bringing him to justice, as well as destroying his terrorist group al Qaeda and toppling the murderously oppressive Islamic fundamentalist regime, the Taliban, which had seized power in Afghanistan and was providing sanctuary for al Qaeda. In those days, we acted purely in reaction and self defense and were arguably exercising truth, justice, and the American way. Now, nearly 7 years later, bin Laden is still at large, our resources and focus have shifted largely to our occupation of Iraq, Taliban strength is again on the rise in Afghanistan, and world opinion has shifted solidly against us BECAUSE of our Iraq invasion and occupation. What has become of the "War on Terror"? Was it aptly named, or has it become perverted in its evolution? Or, was it just a cleverly expedient slogan used to camouflage our true intention, that being our desire to wage a war for oil and control in the Middle East? Evidence would unfortunately fall on the side of the latter rather than the former.

After a short time, our forces in Afghanistan had removed the Taliban from power and forced them to retreat to the rugged and inhospitable mountains at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. We thought we had narrowly missed capturing bin Laden and had maybe even injured him. But we didn't know for sure. We established a new government and set up free elections in Afghanistan, and the pursuit of bin Laden became minimalistic and faded into obscurity. Then, the Bush administration began building its false case for invading Iraq; a short war and lengthy occupation followed, and an active hunt for bin Laden stopped, for all practical purposes.

Several disturbing thoughts are raised by the Bush administration's handling of the "War on Terror" and after it became the war in Iraq in early 2003. For example, if the actual aim of the "War on Terror" was to capture the head terrorists, why have we abandoned the chase? And if an additional aim was to prevent another 9/11 style attack by foreign agents on our soil, why then are our borders and ports as leaky as seives? Our southern border, with rare exception, is easy to cross over by virtually anyone. Rational thinking would suggest that, immediately following a massive terrorist attack, our borders and ports and all incoming shipments would have seen huge increases in inspections and security personnel. Such has not been the case. Rational deduction would strongly suggest in light of this that the Bush administration is not really concerned with potential terrorists entering our country unseen and is instead more in favor of open borders to allow a huge influx of cheap immigrant labor for the benefit of big business. The fact that only 1% of our incoming shipments receive a proper customs inspection suggests that the current White House is not really concerned with dangerous materials entering our ports, but is more dedicated to preventing multinational corporations' imports from being delayed, regulated, or fined. Does it not seem that prevention, awareness, and protection would be proper tools to use in a genuine war on terror? Why then has the Bush administration failed to employ these? Finally, if another stated aim of the "War on Terror" was to overthrow oppressive dictators like Saddam Hussein who were supposedly developing nuclear weapons, why did we not take the same actions of invasion, occupation, capture, and execution of the oppressive Kim Jong Il of North Korea, who already HAS nuclear capability? Evidence suggests we were far more interested in Saddam Hussein because of his OIL, and since North Korea had no oil, we selectively left Kim Jong Il alone.

Former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has testified publicly that the Bush administration began plans for an invasion of Iraq immediately after its inauguration in January, 2001, nearly 8 months BEFORE 9/11. Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz had all long advocated an invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, provide the United States with a direct and ongoing presence in the Middle East, and secure our grip on the region's vast oil resources. In the 1990s, these three, along with George W. Bush, his brother Jeb, and a host of other neocon, hardcore right-wingers, were charter members of a conservative think tank/advocacy group called "Project for a New American Century." This group advocated, among other things, pre-emptive military strikes against Iraq, Syria, and Iran to overthrow their leaders and establish our firm foothold there. When this group came to power in the White House, they began to implement their plans. 9/11 gave them the perfect opportunity to build a case against Iraq, rally public support by dishonestly tying Iraq to al Qaeda and nuclear weapons, and then proceed with the military phase of their plan.

Bush and Cheney are both former oilmen. The price of gasoline has more than tripled since they took office in 2001. Oil companies' profits continue to set record highs. Cheney's former company, Halliburton, has received BILLIONS in numerous NON-BID defense contracts since we first invaded Iraq. What began as an honest "War on Trror" has morphed into a war for profit and plunder. Since we have basically abandoned the hunt for bin Laden, left our ports and borders open to invasion by anybody, and left other oppressive dictators in power without toppling THEM, I repeat my question: Are we conducting War on Terror, or war for oil? The evidence strongly suggests the latter rather than the former. By definition then, we are engaged in unlawful imperialism, and we should GET THE HELL OUT OF IRAQ!

NEXT WEEK: LIBERAL AND DEMOCRATIC COLLUSION WITH THE CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS

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