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by The Green Party Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at 11:39 PM

Waiting for the next 'Gulf of Tonkin': Greens call the White House's stated reasons for invading Iraq a litany of deception and PR propaganda

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As Bush begins sending
250,000 American troops to the Gulf region,
Greens are challenging the daily deceptions from
the Bush Administration on why it's necessary to
invade Iraq. Greens have accused President Bush
of feeding the American people a massive diet of
misinformation, especially the warning that Iraq
poses an imminent threat to the U.S.

In early January, Bush said "An attack from
Saddam Hussein or a surrogate of Saddam Hussein
would cripple our economy.... Our economy is
strong, it's resilient, we've got to continue to
make it strong and resilient. This economy cannot
afford to stand an attack." Greens, who are
preparing for this weekend's antiwar rallies in
Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and other
cities, have called such statements a dishonest
appeal to legitimate concerns about security in
the wake of September 11.

"Americans should be wary that the White House
will concoct a ' Gulf of Tonkin' incident, by
using any new terrorist incident, as a pretext
and justification for an attack on Iraq," said
Ben Manski, a Wisconsin Green and member of the
Steering Committee of the Green Party of the
United States. "The Bush Administration mirrored
Saddam Hussein's own dishonesty when it censored
the parts of the 12,000-page Iraq report that
revealed the Western corporations that supplied
various weapons, especially biochemical

The White House and the Pentagon have relied on
public relations experts such as Victoria Clarke,
formerly of Hill & Knowlton, and the Rendon Group
to steer public opinion in favor of an invasion.
Greens cite a litany of lies and manipulation
from the Bush Administration on the need for war:

BUSH: Iraq is a threat to the U.S.

Although clearly a dictator who continues to
inflict death and suffering on the people of
Iraq, Saddam Hussein has done nothing to provoke
an invasion, is neither a proven threat to U.S.
security or to the borders of any nation in
Middle East region, and commands a weak military
force. The White House has offered no plausible
evidence that Saddam has any means of delivering
shortrange warheads, nerve gas, and other
biochemical weapons, even if he still possesses

"The desire to change the regime of another
nation is not a valid justification for invasion
-- there is no right to wage 'preemptive' war,"
said J. Roy Cannon, chair of the Peace Committee
of the Green Party of Delaware. "An invasion by
the U.S. would violate international laws, the
U.N. charter, the Monroe Doctrine of U.S.
military action as a defensive last resort, and
the U.S. Constitution's restriction of the use of
U.S. armed forces to the defense of our borders.
It's clear that the U.S. is determined not to
accept the results of the U.N. inspections."

BUSH: Saddam Hussein is in league with Al Qaeda.

The White House has never shown credible proof of
any connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda,
despite Bush's constant insistence of evidence
gathered through intelligence.

BUSH: This is not about oil.

The Bush Administration's intention to seize
control of Iraqi oil resources has been
acknowledged by many of supporters of Bush's war
plans. Invasion supporter Sen. Pete Domenici
(Rep.-NM), speaking in a moment of candor, said
"that the administration's Iraq policies were
based, essentially, on Israel and oil." (ABC
News, January 10, 2003). Jack Straw, U.K.
Foreign Secretary, acknowledged in a speech to
British ambassadors that oil is the main
motivation for Blair's support for Bush's war,
much more so than any threat of WMDs; the Blair
government is concerned about global energy
supplies, especially oil imports, during the
coming years.

The most outspoken war-for-oil proponent is
Richard Perle, chair of the Defense Policy Board,
a Pentagon advisory group. Perle's Rand
Corporation report briefing submitted in July,
2002, recommends invading Iraq as a first step in
gaining U.S. control over oil throughout the
Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia (Boston
Globe, September 10, 2002).

Contrary to the White House's claim that oil
revenues from Iraq after the invasion should
benefit the Iraqi people, Newsday reported that
administration officials plan to use oil money to
pay for the expenses of the U.S. postwar
occupation of Iraq, which is expected to cost
from $12 billion to $48 billion a year (January
10, 2003). Iraq has the second largest oil
reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia; other
Arab and Muslim nations would recognize the
appropriated Iraqi oil money as proof of the
U.S.'s colonial motivation for the invasion.

BUSH: Invasion of Iraq is justified by our 'Moral
Clarity' against a member of the 'Axis of Evil.'

The White House's rhetoric about moral clarity is
a mask for the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld doctrine:
preemptive invasion to ensure U.S. interests;
first-strike use of nuclear weapons; unilateral
military action; withdrawal from or rejection of
international treaties and agreements; and
increased surveillance and erosion of
Constitutional rights at home.

"This is not what a democracy looks like and acts
like," said Ben Manski. "This is how empires

BUSH: We're doing this to help the Iraqi people.

The U.S.'s 'precision' warfare will kill
thousands, possible tens or hundreds of thousands
of Iraqi civilians. Most of the American
casualties in the invasion itself will probably
come from friendly fire. The U.N. predicts a
humanitarian disaster, with up to a half million
injuries during the early stages of the war.

BUSH: We don't want to go to war.

In November, Richard Perle assured British
members of Parliament that the invasion is
inevitable, even if the U.N. inspection team
doesn't find evidence of nuclear and biochemical
weapons. Bush Administration officials favored
an invasion of Iraq even before September 11,
2001, according to policy blueprints such as
"Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies,
Forces And Resources For A New Century," drafted
in September 2000 by the think tank Project for
the New American Century for the future Bush

"This will not be a simple invasion, regime
change, and occupation," said Mark Dunlea, Chair
of the Green Party of New York State. "Expect
numerous international consequences from the
invasion: strikes from Iraq against Israel, which
possesses nuclear weapons that Sharon might use
in retaliation; regional destabilization could
set off a military exchange between India and
Pakistan; a surge in terrorism against the West.
The consequences of war are always

Greens have called for peace-based measures to
end conflicts in the Middle East: ending the
economic sanctions and help rebuild Iraq's
infrastructure, especially provision of food,
water, and medical supplies; imposing sanctions
against selling weapons to Iraq and all other
belligerent nations, including Israel; ending
Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and
dismantling the settlements.

The U.S., say Greens, must work with other
nations to eliminate all nuclear and biochemical
weapons from the Middle East and to reduce
dependence on fossil fuels drastically; if
apprehension and prosecution of Saddam Hussein is
necessary, in the unlikely event that he launches
a suicidal attack on any nation, they must be
accomplished through international channels, with
full international support.
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