Friday, May 30, 2003


Raven is eating a grubby little muffin that’s called a “manteca” (lard) here. It’s the only bread we have left in the house, and I don’t blame him for feeling a little down in the beak about having to eat it.

I’m sorry, guy. Tomorrow I will try to go to Pochutla for food. I have two weeks of dirty laundry to wash in the kitchen sink, so we might be eating very late in the day.

“Want me to do a rain dance so that you won’t have to wash the clothes?” Raven looks at me slyly.

The problem with that is people are not going to want to see me running around naked. They seem to have developed an aversion to the truth lately. I am reading an article from The Independent about Wolfowitz admitting that “WMDs were just a convenient excuse for war.”

“Did he just say that today?” Raven sweeps the shreds of the muffin into the garbage with his right wing.

No, Rave, he didn’t. Apparently he said it to an interviewer from Vanity Fair for the July issue.

“For a fluff piece?” Raven is clearly not impressed.

These folks, besides being liars, are not exactly rocket scientists. He tries to obfuscate the issue by talking about another issue:

“That was the prospect of the United States being able to withdraw all of its forces from Saudi Arabia once the threat of Saddam had been removed. Since the taking of Baghdad, Washington has said that it is taking its troops out of the kingdom. "Just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to the door" towards making progress elsewhere in achieving Middle East peace, Mr Wolfowitz said. The presence of the US military in Saudi Arabia has been one of the main grievances of al-Qa'ida and other terrorist groups. For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on," Mr Wolfowitz tells the magazine.”

“I see”, Raven nods, “they invaded Iraq for ‘bureaucratic reasons’. Great motivation for bombing the crap out of a country, killing its people, and a big list of destructive etceteras.”

The article goes on to say:

“The comments suggest that, even for the US administration, the logic that was presented for going to war may have been an empty shell. They come to light, moreover, just two days after Mr Wolfowitz's immediate boss, Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense Secretary, conceded for the first time that the arms might never be found.

The failure to find a single example of the weapons that London and Washington said were inside Iraq only makes the embarrassment more acute. Voices are increasingly being raised in the US and Britain demanding an explanation for why nothing has been found.

Most striking is the fact that these latest remarks come from Mr Wolfowitz, recognized widely as the leader of the hawks' camp in Washington most responsible for urging President George Bush to use military might in Iraq. The magazine article reveals that Mr Wolfowitz was even pushing Mr Bush to attack Iraq immediately after the 11 September attacks in the US, instead of invading Afghanistan.

There have long been suspicions that Mr Wolfowitz has essentially been running a shadow administration out of his Pentagon office, ensuring that the right-wing views of himself and his followers find their way into the practice of American foreign policy. He is best known as the author of the policy of first-strike pre-emption in world affairs that was adopted by Mr Bush shortly after the al-Qa'ida attacks.”

“What’s this, another Prince of Darkness scenario? Everybody who has read The Plan knows that he was just one of its authors.”

Anyway, the author of the article says:

“Critics of the administration and of the war will now want to know how convinced the Americans really were that the weapons existed in Iraq to the extent that was publicly stated. Questions are also multiplying as to the quality of the intelligence provided to the White House. Was it simply faulty given that nothing has been found in Iraq or was it influenced by the White House's fixation on the weapons issue? Or were the intelligence agencies telling the White House what it wanted to hear?”

“I can’t believe that anyone really thought the weapons existed! Any idiot would conclude that if they had existed they would have been used when the US began the invasion.”

People want to believe stuff like that, Rave. They feel kind of creepy thinking that people who are running their governments just invent reasons to invade other countries. Even though it has been done over and over again.

“These are folks with no historical consciousness. And what about this silliness of biological weapons being produced in milk trucks?”

They do mention that, Rave. Here it says:

“As skepticism grows over the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, London and Washington are attempting to turn the focus of attention to Iraq's alleged possession of mobile weapons labs.

A joint CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency report released this week claimed that two trucks found in northern Iraq last month were mobile labs used to develop biological weapons. The trucks were fitted with hi-tech laboratory equipment and the report said the discovery represented the "strongest evidence to date that Iraq was hiding a biowarfare program".

The design of the vehicles made them "an ingeniously simple self-contained bioprocessing system". The report said no other purpose, for example water purification, medical laboratory or vaccine production, would justify such effort and expense.

But critics are not convinced. No biological agents were found on the trucks and experts point out that, unlike the trucks described by Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, in a speech to the UN Security Council, they were open sided and would therefore have left a trace easy for weapons inspectors to detect. One former UN inspector said that the trucks would have been a very inefficient way to produce anthrax.”

“That’s an understatement, " Raven cackles. "Open sided. I still think they are milk trucks. Made obsolete by the elimination of Iraqui children….”

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