Reflection on This War - One Year Later
By - March 22, 2004
It has now been one year since I first began writing the piece that
started this website, This War is About So Much More.
For those who took the time to read the entire piece, long as it is, it
should have been recognized that the piece was not really about the war
itself per se. I gave no real opinion about the war, never said that I
was in favor of it nor that was against it, and I made no predictions
about the outcome of the war itself. My piece, in truth, is not about
the war in Iraq at all, but rather it is about America. It is about
American society, and most specifically, it is about the American media.
I was prompted to write This War is About So Much More not
because I was overly concerned with the war, bad as that may sound, but
rather because I was concerned with the "so much more" aspect.
Having not witnessed the Vietnam Era, because I was born on its eve,
this was the first time that I had ever witnessed a propaganda and
manipulation campaign of this nature in my life and it shocked and
I am a student of history, a follower of politics, and would consider
myself fairly observant of social phenomena. What I witnessed in this
country following the September 11th
attacks and leading up to the launch of the war on Iraq was revolting
and disgusted me to the very core. I was ashamed to even turn to the TV
and have to see this man called President disgracing the nation with his
lies and bold deceptions.
I fully recognized that there were legitimate reasons to invade Iraq,
and under different circumstances and different leadership I could have
been fully supportive of such an invasion, however the obvious use of
lies and propaganda to manipulate the public, as has been used in this
country for the past 2 or 3 years, was so shocking and so gratuitous
that I found myself being amazed on an almost daily basis by the
audacity of the Bush administration, and not just on the topic of the
war but on virtually every topic that the administration addressed, from
the economy to the environment. It was when I realized that not only was
the Bush administration lying and making blatant use of propaganda, but
that the entire major media was complicit in this endeavor and that in
fact that vast majority of Americans bought into it, that I realized
that this represented a real and serious problem, a true threat to our
country, our future, and our humanity itself.
I want to recall just a little bit of what it was like a year ago
today in America, at least by my experience.
The atmosphere was such that there was a real and true fear of
speaking out in opposition to anything said by the President. To voice
an opinion to co-workers that you felt the president was lying was
simply not possible. Patriotic stickers, banners, ribbons, etc. were
everywhere. Almost every other car displayed patriotic bumper stickers
in support of the actions, and American flag window-flagpoles were a
common sight, and still are to a lesser degree.
The idea of protesting brought real fear, and the idea of wearing an
anti-Bush shirt or something of that nature in public was met with the
realization that you may in fact be physically assaulted if you did such
My fear was not of terrorists, my fear was of the men in the White
I finally put a "Regime Change Starts At Home" sticker on my truck,
after the statue of Saddam had come down, and was given the finger
several times and friends commented that I may get my tires slashed,
though that never happened.
During the time surrounding the start of the war I saw a total of 1
other anti-war display of any kind in person and of course thousands of
pro-war displays (stickers, signs, shirts, etc) by private citizens.
This was in Little Rock, Arkansas by the way.
I personally experienced a deep level of stress and anxiety over the
issue, and talked to a few friends that did as well, mostly caused by
seeing such a vulgar display of deception and realizing what this meant
about our country, our leadership, and our society. I have never in my
life felt so opposed to American leadership. I've pretty much always
disagreed with American leadership in some way or another, I think
probably most people do, at least in some fashion. I don't think it can
be expected to be otherwise in a democracy. However, this was not a case
of disagreement, this was a case of feeling seriously ill and revolted.
Looking back today it may be easy to somewhat dismiss the things that
happened in the early part of 2003, or to forget the mood. I'm not going
to forget though, and I don't think that many of the people who saw the
writing on the wall at that time will.
If I'm not an "anti-war peacenik" then why was I so upset anyway?
I was upset because I knew that what was being said on television by
American leadership, repeated and bolstered by so-called experts,
supported by the biggest names in American reporting, and dramatized by
our most powerful news organizations, was all a complete and total lie.
I saw before my very eyes deception taking place on a scale that I had
never imagined could take place in America, and I realized why
and how it was possible for this deception to take place.
I decided at that point to document my perspective, not only to share
it with others, but for my own sake and for posterity, not long term
posterity, but for, in fact, today. I planned from the very beginning to
revisit this issue one year later to reassess my initial assessment.
The objective of my paper, This War Is About So Much More,
was to document the fact that it was possible to determine that the
entire presentation of the motivation for war with Iraq was a lie at the
time the war started, in fact before the war started. Before the war
even started a critical examination of the available facts revealed that
the entire public line of the Bush administration was a complete fraud.
I am not a journalist; I am not making millions of dollars a year to
"keep America informed;" I am not a respected public commentator, and in
my opinion neither should any existing public commentator in America
today be respected because they were all complicit in the deception.
If I was able to plainly see that the Bush administration
was completely lying and manipulating the public, then I know
that "professional" journalists either: A) are idiots, or B) also knew
that he was lying and manipulating the public but failed to report it
and went along with the deception.
One of the revolutionary leaders of the
first American Revolution experienced this situation as well:
"The most effectual engines for this purpose (pacifying a nation)
are the public papers...
You know well that the (British) government
always kept a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without
any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, invented and put
into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with
the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false
from the true paragraphs of a newspaper."
-Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785.
Indeed Mr. Jefferson, and unfortunately, in this regard, times have
changed little, only now the betrayal of the people is rooted in America
itself and unfortunately, the effect is the same.
It is important to keep in mind that I wrote
This War Is About So Much More during the early days of the war
in Iraq, based on information that I had gathered prior to the start of
the war. The fact that I was able to acquire this information, which was
obviously publicly available, and then interpret it in such a way as to
have, what I believe is, a fundamental understanding of the real
motivations behind the war, proves that it was certainly possible to
understand the truth about the war and the President's manipulations
before the war even started. If I could connect the dots, then so could
any reasonable professional press.
Not only is the piece about the failure of the press to truthfully
and objectively report and analyze the facts, but it is also about why
the majority of society was so eager to believe the lies. The fact is,
the level of belief in the President's lies that was displayed by our
country is indicative of much deeper problems and is indicative of an
entire world-view that exists in America that makes the American public
so easily manipulated by such obvious and blatant lies.
The fact that the President of the United States was able to stand up
in front of this country and tell bald faced lies repeatedly (and
receive standing ovations for it no less!) is proof that the American
public is truly asleep at the wheel.
Now, with the rhetoric out of the way, let us examine the statements
made in This War Is About So Much More, from today's
perspective - one year late.
Starting immediately with the introduction, among the the first words
that I put down were:
President George W. Bush Jr. has lied to bring us to war with
Iraq. Whether this war be right or wrong,
and whether its immediate consequences be good or bad, there can be
no denial that the nation was moved to war with lies.
This War Is About So Much More - Introduction
This was written March 21st, 2003, and a year later, it is
finally being confirmed in major presses. Why wasn't this properly
reported a year ago when it could have actually made a difference?
"The President is merely the most important among a large
number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly
to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct,
his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and
disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is
absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the
truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to
blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right.
Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.
To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or
that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only
unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American
public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one
else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or
unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
- Theodore Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 149 May 7, 1918
Indeed Mr. Roosevelt, the President is accountable to the people and
of course to the truth, and the presses should have told the truth about
Mr. Bush's lies when he initially told them.
I then went on to present what I believed were the "real" motivations
behind the war:
This war on Iraq was really
designed to be a war on the European Union, OPEC, and the UN as much
as a war on Iraq. It was designed to
indirectly attack the EU and UN via the Iraqi situation.
The three primary goals are to secure American influence in the
Persian Gulf, weaken the EU and UN, and gain increased influence
This War Is About So Much
More - Introduction
Surprisingly, the support for this statement actually comes from
members of the Bush administration, a former member that is, Richard
Perle. This will be address in deeper detail towards the end of this
One of the most important points was that the Bush administration was
comprised almost exclusively of people who had collaborated on plans
promoting the invasion of Iraq for years prior to the Bush entry into
The issue here is that the Bush "team", the
future Bush administration, was already put together.
It was a team of some of America's largest proponents of preemptive
warfare and proponents of an invasion of Iraq in order to oust
Saddam Hussein and impose US influence in the Persian Gulf.
This is not just a case of saying one thing at election time and
doing another once in office, this is a case of premeditated action.
The Bush administration is a war cabinet that was put together with
all of the most prominent advocates of war with Iraq.
It is certainly not chance that George Bush just happened to select
these people for his cabinet, and then we were attacked and evidence
just "came to light" that Saddam was now a threat that had to be
dealt with, however this is exactly how it was portrayed to the
American people, and the world…
The Lies- The Bush team lied about intentions for war from
The Bush administration was assembled years prior
to the 2000 presidential campaign. The common
tie that the members of the Bush administration share is their position
on American global preeminence, their shared vision of preemptive war,
and their shared goal of invading Iraq. The Bush administration has claimed several times
that war with Iraq was not the primary focus of the administration prior
to 9/11, but if that is the case then why are so many members of the
administration, which was put together prior to 9/11 and in fact
actually prior to the year 2000, members of the PNAC and related to
issues in Iraq. If someone were simply putting together an
administration with no intention of going to war with Iraq, then why
would virtually all of the members of the administration just
happen to be people actively involved in developing long
term plans to invade Iraq?
The fact is, this wouldn't happen.
Putting it all
These statements are now supported by statements in the broader press
Neoconservatives are fairly easy to study, mainly
because they are few in number, and they show up at all the same
parties. Examining them as individuals, it became clear that almost
all have worked together, in and out of government, on national
security issues for several decades. The Project for the New
American Century and its now famous 1998 manifesto to President
Clinton on Iraq is a recent example….
Before the Iraq invasion, many of these
same players labored together for literally decades to push a
defense strategy that favored military intervention and
confrontation with enemies, secret and unconstitutional if need be.
Another point that I made was:
From the time that the Bush
administration began pushing for war in Iraq they have repeatedly
made press statements that have proven to be false and statements
made on unsupported information. This has
been done to inspire a feeling of fear among the public with the
hope that people would support the war out of a fear of imminent
attack from Saddam Hussein.
The Bush administration
has repeatedly lied to support the war
This has been broadly supported now in a variety of presses, though
the finger is often pointed back at the "intelligence" as being at
fault. One of the first sources to support this was Colonel Sam Gardner
in his paper, Truth from These Podia, in
which he outlined how fabricated or distorted statements were put out in
the press or made by members of the administration, in what he terms the
use of psyops (Psychological Operations) against the American public.
The fact that the Bush administration has now tried to point fingers
at the intelligence community is a farce as well, which is indicated by
my inclusion of this statement in my paper from March of 2003:
In discussing the resignation of Rand Beers from
the National Security Council
James Bamford, author and intelligence expert, said
that "There is a predominant belief in the intelligence community
that an invasion of Iraq will cause more terrorism than it will prevent.
There is also a tremendous amount of embarrassment by intelligence
professionals that there have been so many lies out of the
administration -- by the president, (Vice President Dick) Cheney and
(Secretary of State Colin) Powell -- over Iraq."
administration has repeatedly lied to support the war
Clearly, anyone who was really following the issues in 2003 would
have known that the intelligence community was saying that Bush was in
fact NOT representing their views and was taking liberty with their
intelligence or in fact just completely making stuff up. This was known
prior to the start of the war.
This has been further substantiated by a government report: Iraq on the Record - The Bush
Administration's Public Statements on Iraq, which details 237
misleading statements that were made by the Bush administration
regarding the war in Iraq.
In my piece I outlined 5 basic lies or misrepresentations about the
situation with Iraq that were presented or supported by the
administration. All five were in fact confirmed
to be false prior to the war even starting, and they have since been
further verified as false:
The Bush administration has repeatedly lied
to support the war
I stated that the Bush administration took office with the desire to
go to war with Iraq:
The Bush administration took office with the
intention of going to war with Iraq. Clearly the events of September 11th, 2001
catalyzed these events. That is not to say that
the Bush administration would have necessarily moved for a war with Iraq
on their own, but they were clearly looking for any possible excuse to
get involved in a war with Iraq. When the attack on September 11th
happened there was an immediate effort to draw links to Saddam Hussein.
"Rumsfeld wrote, according to a later CBS News report, that he
wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. at the
same time. Not only UBL" - meaning Osama bin Laden. He added: "Go
massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.""
Of course all possibilities had to be explored,
but its plain to see that there was a desire to
"hit" Saddam Hussein (S.H.) and that it was not a case of
discovering evidence that linked Saddam to the attacks, but an initial
desire to link Saddam to the attacks.
Putting it all together
This was further substantiated in January 2004, first by former
Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill:
The Bush administration began planning to use U.S. troops to
invade Iraq within days after the former Texas governor entered the
White House three years ago, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
told CBS News' 60 Minutes.
In the book, O'Neill is quoted as saying he was surprised that no
one in a National Security Council meeting asked why Iraq should be
It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it.
The president saying "Go find me a way to do this," O'Neill said.
In the book, O'Neill is quoted as saying he was
surprised that no one in a National Security Council meeting asked why
Iraq should be invaded...
It was all about finding a way to do it. That was
the tone of it. The president saying "Go find me a way to do this,"
And again by Richard Clark of the Security Council in March of 2004:
Clarke says that as early as the day after the attacks, Secretary
of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was pushing for retaliatory strikes on
Iraq, even though al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan.
Clarke suggests the idea took him so aback, he initially thought
Rumsfeld was joking.
I also highlighted the issues relating to the European Union and the
relationship between the euro and the American dollar:
Currently the largest threat to America's position
of power is the European Union. The European Union is primarily an economic threat to the
United States, not a military threat.
The successful euro has proven to be the greatest
emerging competition that the American dollar has seen in decades.
In addition, the European Union has been growing and organizing in such
a way that it was obvious to any astute observer that the EU would soon
be a partner of equals with America seeking to share global authority.
Remember that members of the Bush administration
have said that the US must, "discourage advanced industrial nations from
challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or
The EU certainly fits that bill...
The Bush administration designed their approach to
Iraq in a way that was intended to undermine the UN and weaken the
European Union. I believe that the Bush
administration sought to either pull Britain away from the EU and
possibly prevent Britain from joining the euro-zone, or to push Britain
into a stronger leadership position in the EU in order to get Britain to
direct the EU in line with American interests.
They were probably willing to take either scenario, as both would serve
this war really all about
In the section titled OPEC,
Iraq, the euro, and global economics I highlighted the
currency war that was beginning to mount prior to the freefall of the
dollar and its being overtaken by the euro, in addition to explaining
how and why involvement in Iraq was a move to try to mitigate the
inevitable challenging of the American dollar by the euro. Since that
time, news of the dollar's fall is well known. This is another topic
that should have been discussed prior o the war, if not
directly in relation to the war it should have actually been being
discussed long before, in fact years prior. America has been relatively
ignorant of the EU and the euro since before George Bush even took
office, again highlighting the insufficiency of the American presses and
In fact, some of the most solid support for my conclusion that the
war on Iraq included anti-European Union motivations has come from
members of the Bush administration. In
An End to Evil, co-authored by
Richard Perle, it states:
The United States has long supported European unification. A united
Europe, American policy makers believed, would have a stronger economy
and could better contribute to the common defense against the Soviet
The possibility that the integrated Europe we had nurtured for so
long might emerge as a 'counterweight' to the United States,
particularly on the most sensitive issues of national security, would
never have occurred to the Eurocentric American foreign policy
So what should we do? These four things:
First, acknowledge that a more closely integrated Europe is no longer
an unqualified American interest.
They then go on to state:
We must do our utmost to preserve our British ally's independence
I remember distinctly telling a friend before the war had started
that the entire affair was designed to disrupt the European Union. First
he said, "What's the European Union?" Then he said I was crazy for
Furthermore, in my section on the EU I quoted British Ambassador John
Kerr from 1998 and commented on his statements:
"The idea that there is an
alternative 'blue water' foreign policy open to a UK which turned
its back on Europe is one which would find very few takers in the
United States. As Ray Seitz warned in a memorable speech, the extent
to which the United Kingdom is listened to in America will be
affected by American judgments about the extent to which the United
Kingdom is listened to in Europe, and would be able to rally EU
support for a common United States/United Kingdom policy
I will discuss the alterative "blue water"
policy of Britain again later, but I believe that while there may have
been few takers on such a strategy that those few takers are currently
in the White House. As Sir Kerr does point out,
America's interest in the EU is highly dictated by the extent to which
the EU can be kept in line with British, and hence American, interests.
Everyone involved is well aware of this…
"Nor do Americans see the
widening of the EU as an alternative to its deepening. They tend to
believe that the two go together. They see, or say they see, a strong US
interest in a strong EU.
Now, a cynic might say that a US definition of
a strong EU is not always the same as a European definition. The ideal
US prescription for European Defense Cooperation has for example often
seemed to be European co-operation to buy US-made defense equipment."
I wouldn't be so surprised to see Sir Kerr proved
wrong on this opinion of his. Bush is now prescribing large increases in
the national "defense budget"; I think Sir Kerr may want to re-evaluate.
What I am saying is that the Bush administration sees Europe as less of
partner in defense than previous administrations and will probably focus
more on an internal market for defense equipment.
The European Union
The point that I am trying to make is that if I was able to
understand these issues prior the start of the war with Iraq then that
means that the facts were out there that made it possible to properly
understand what was really going on before the war even started. The
question is then, why was an entire nation moved by lies, lies which
were capable of being seen as lies when they were told? Why did so few
people get "the big picture?"
Certainly the press is largely to blame. The major presses all went
along with the party line in spite of major flaws in the party line and
major questions about the character of the leadership promoting what was
obviously a giant set of lies.
Are we to blindly follow whoever gets into office (through a disputed
election no less)? Is that how this is supposed to work? I don't think
so. If we want to understand the greatest threat to our national
security we need look no further than the White House today. Sitting in
the Oval Office is the biggest threat to America that exists in the
world today, but while that may be the case (it is the case), simply
removing George Bush from the presidency will not solve America's
problems, because the way in which the Bush administration was able to
manipulate the American public and the American government is indicative
of much deeper and more troublesome problems.
It is indicative of a flawed system, a corrupt society, and a society
with a world-view that is out of touch with reality. Our society is
going to be facing some of the most difficult economic and political
times that it has faced in 60 years over the coming decade, and quite
frankly this episode does not bode well. That so many people are so
easily deceived, and that many of our largest institutions were
complicit in that deception, represents what is truly the greatest
challenge to America today: understanding the world.
Before I end this I want to bring a charge against Vice President
Dick Cheney. It is my allegation that Vice President Cheney made up his
mind to pursue an occupation of Iraq back in 1992 or 1993 and that he
specifically joined Halliburton to build it into a tool for use during
the occupation of Iraq. That Halliburton received priority status in the
allotting of contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq was not a matter
of "favoritism," rather Halliburton had been specifically geared towards
specific roles to be played in the occupation of Iraq. Cheney's time at
Halliburton was a part of the execution of the plan to invade and occupy
Iraq, and I suspect that Vice President Cheney was the primary motivator
of the entire affair.
The men currently occupying the White House should instead be
occupying a prison.