Why Did We Decide to Attack Iraq?
"Imperialist conquest is not a philanthropic enterprise... and this is the central contradiction in Bush's brave, new foreign policy."
--William Greider

Liberals and conservatives were happy to see the Taliban and Saddam Hussein removed from power. We had been told that they were behind the horrific attacks of 9/11. We also knew what went on in Afghanistan and Iraq before we invaded: mass executions, rape, torture, unthinkable evil. Whether we opposed or supported invading those countries without UN support, we all hoped that the ends might justify the means.

What we're only now starting to realize is that we were duped. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice and Wolfowitz manipulated our opposing desires, one for vengeance, the other to ease suffering in the world. They continue to manipulate us to implement their long-term strategy of exercising US military power to control international trade and natural resources.

We're being led down the path of unilateral imperialism, justified by a noble cause, except that the cause isn't as noble as we were led to believe.

Bush & Co. have shown no qualms about sending American soldiers off to die in the desert, all to support their perverse views on American military supremacy. William Greider explains how Bush & Co. have been able to manipulate the American people, as well as why the lies will haunt them.

Many people feel personally injured -- and betrayed -- by what's happening in Iraq because they were led to support the war by a series of melodramatic lies. They became emotionally invested in what they were told to believe. The Iraqi dictator was to blame for 9/11. Saddam could wipe out London in 45 minutes (as the first poodle put it). Saddam has amassed killer toxins and nuclear weapons to supply the terrorists threatening our country. Saddam is a tyrannical killer and this will be a high-minded war of liberation, opening a democratic future for Iraq, nay, for all Arabs in the Middle East.

Bush's Africa trip was meant to deflect attention away from Iraq as much as it was meant to do anything else. It was just a photo op with an elephant, a chance to throw a bone to African American voters, another promise that wouldn't be financed by a Republican-led Congress. Despite his philanthropic claims to the contrary, Bush didn't visit Africa to show that he is "compassionate." Put simply, Africa has resources that Bush & Co. want: oil, diamonds, food, cheap labor.

The question now is whether Bush can get Iraq out of the news before it gets him out of office. Greider again:
Whatever unfolds in Iraq, Bush's political imperative is to get this story off the evening news, out of the main headlines, well before his reelection contest starts next year. He cannot do that by agitating popular taste for blood or by staging Israeli-style raids on Arab villages, satisfying though the assaults might be to some. The presidential dilemma is how to retreat artfully from what he started without diminishing the macho-man reputation. It is the classic dilemma colonialist powers often faced in hostile colonies. The empire can't stay, but it can't get out, not with it mighty honor intact.

Unfortunately for Bush, it's become exceedingly difficult to keep Iraq out of the news. Americans are being killed at the rate of 1.23 per day since May 2nd, the day after Bush's aircraft carrier publicity stunt. A total of 219 American servicemen and women have died since March 20th, not to mention British soldiers, journalists and Iraqi civilians. And the networks are showing an increased tolerance for depicting the bloody reality of war.

Gen. Wesley Clark (former NATO Supreme Allied Commander) spoke with Matt Lauer on "The Today Show" this morning. When asked whether the US did enough to prepare for the situation in postwar Iraq, Clark said, "I think the answer is clearly no."

He went on to say, although he was summarily interrupted by Lauer, that the "real issue is ... why precisely did we decide to attack Iraq?"

That's a question that Mr. Bush refuses to honestly answer.