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Can we back up
by Jim Babka
Claim #6: One of our radio ads claims that the same people who are proposing the current war were also involved in the first one, and that their lies then should lead us to reject what they're saying now. Who, exactly, are we talking about?
Obviously, George W. Bush is the son of former President George H.W. Bush, who oversaw the first Gulf War. It is a little known fact that the current President was a White House insider, who participated in West Wing operations behind the scenes.
Current Vice President Dick Cheney, who is perhaps the most influential figure in the current administration, was the elder Bush's Secretary of Defense. It was Cheney's Defense Department that promised to defend Kuwait in its border dispute with Iraq, before Hussein invaded. Meanwhile the State Department was telling Hussein the dispute was a local matter that could be settled by force if diplomacy failed. These mixed messages from the first Bush administration led directly to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
- Kuwait shunned diplomatic negotiations with Hussein because Cheney's Defense Department had promised to defend Kuwait in its dispute with Iraq.
- Iraq, on the other hand, felt it had a green light from the U.S. State Department to attack Kuwait when it refused to negotiate.
These facts make it fairly clear that the first Bush administration, including Dick Cheney, caused the first Iraq war, either through incompetence, willful deceit, or both. Worse still, the first Bush administration tried to paint Hussein's invasion as the first step in a campaign to conquer the entire region and a large part of the world's oil supply. But they knew this wasn't true. They knew their administration was complicit in what had happened, but they did not tell this to the American people. Instead, they lied about the true causes of the crisis and their own involvement in it. (For more on the Iraq-Kuwait dispute see Claim #4.)
But the story doesn't end there.
Current Secretary of State Colin Powell was then General Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As late as 1995, in a PBS "Frontline" appearance, Powell openly defended the decision not to participate in "regime change" in Iraq, calling it a quagmire—a word that harkens back to the debacle of the Vietnam War. Colin Powell was the most influential person in the first Bush administration in deciding not to remove Saddam Hussein. So the question must be asked, if "regime change" was a potential quagmire then, what's changed? The answer is that nothing has changed, as is made clear in the answer to Claim #7.
Cheney and Powell were both members of the National Security Council under Bush, Sr. As such, they must also have been involved in the faked satellite photos showing that Iraq was preparing to invade Saudi Arabia. This lie paved the way for war, and convinced Saudi Arabia to allow U.S. troops on its sacred soil (a major excuse later used by Osama bin Laden to justify his murder of innocent Americans).
(Sources: A World Transformed by Brent Scowcroft, and Iraq by Dilip Hiro. For sources on the faked satellite photos see the answer to Claim #5.)