Target Iraq: U.S. Plans for Major War

In the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S.-led coalition
killed between 100,000 and 200,000 Iraqis. A new
U.S. war carried to Baghdad could make that
bloodbath pale in comparison. Yet the establishment treats [the prospect] as routine — as if the U.S. has an undisputed right to openly plot wars on whomever, whenever. Mainstream editorials focused on tactics and timing – not justice.

2002.07.16

“Tens of thousands of marines and soldiers [will
invade Iraq] from Kuwait. Hundreds of warplanes
based in as many as eight countries…would unleash a huge
air assault against thousands of targets. Special operations
forces or covert CIA operatives would strike at depots or
laboratories storing or manufacturing Iraq’s
suspected weapons of mass destruction and the
missiles to launch them.” New York Times , July 5,
2002

This isn’t a fictional scenario from a Tom Clancy
novel. It’s a real scenario from “CentCom Courses
of Action”–the latest U.S. plan for war on Iraq.

The goal: to overthrow the Iraqi government and install a
pro-U.S. regime.

In the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S.-led coalition
killed between 100,000 and 200,000 Iraqis. A new
U.S. war carried to Baghdad could make that
bloodbath pale in comparison.

The Central Command plan reveals the rulers’
determination to wage war on Iraq, and how
advanced their planning is.

Yet the establishment
treated their disclosure as routine — as if the
U.S. has an undisputed right to openly plot wars
on whomever, whenever.

No big outcry came from Congress — leading
Democrats vocally support “regime change in Iraq.
One Republican backed congressional hearings “as a
way of building public support for potential
military action.”

Mainstream editorials focused on
tactics and timing – not justice.

Military Preparations Underway

The U.S. has been actively preparing
for battle. One official told
the Washington Post that these plans were not a substitute
for war but “should be viewed largely as
‘preparatory’ to a military strike” (6/16).

In the wake of the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S. built
up an extensive network of military bases
throughout the region. These bases are
being beefed up, expanded, and readied.

U.S. officials have been touring the pro-U.S.
regimes in the area to line up support–Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld visited Kuwait, Bahrain and
Qatar in June.

And U.S. support for Israel’s brutal invasions of the
West Bank and Gaza–as well as hypocritical and
empty words about a Palestinian “state”–are aimed
at extinguishing the fires of the Palestinian
uprising in preparation for war against Iraq.

Preparing Pretexts

War preparations are also well underway on the
propaganda front. At his July 8 press conference,
Bush declared, “The world would be safer, more
peaceful if there is a regime change” in Iraq.

The U.S. accuses Iraq of possessing or developing
“weapons of mass destruction.”

Yet a number of
former UN arms inspectors say that Iraq has
largely been disarmed.

[ see: CounterSpin: A special discussion with Scott Ritter, former team leader of UNSCOM weapons inspectors in Iraq – http://www.webactive.com/webactive/cspin/cspin20020510.html ]

Iraq argues that any agreement on arms inspection
must be part of an overall agreement on exactly
what constitutes compliance with all UN
resolutions. Such terms have never been clearly
spelled out — allowing the U.S. to claim Iraq is
“non-compliant” no matter what steps it takes.

This is the prime U.S. excuse for maintaining
sanctions, which were extended again in May.

In 1999, UNICEF found that one Iraqi child in seven
dies before the age of 5. UNICEF also
reported that 22 percent of Iraq’s young children
are chronically malnourished.

An Imperialist Agenda

By toppling the current Iraqi government and
installing a pro-U.S. regime, the U.S. hopes to
tighten its grip on Persian Gulf oil–and all who
depend on it.

In 1991, on the eve of “Operation Desert Storm,”
George Bush Sr. declared, “We have no argument
with the people of Iraq; indeed, we have only
friendship for the people there.”

Eleven years later, over one million Iraqis are dead
thanks to U.S. bombs and sanctions.

Any new U.S. war on Iraq will no doubt be
undertaken in the name of helping Iraq’s people.
But such a war will once again inflict enormous
destruction, suffering, and death on ordinary
Iraqis.

People around the world — especially those of us
who live in the U.S. itself — must oppose such an
unjust and cruel war with all our hearts.

Author: Larry Everest

News Service: ZNet

URL: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=40&ItemID=2120