"The U.S. has a new credibility. What we say goes." Bush the Elder, NBC Nightly News, Feb. 2, 1991
Reminiscent of the "incriminating" evidence in the OJ Simpson trial: contaminated DNA samples, the LAPD's "substantially contaminated" crime lab and the infamous glove that didn't fit, yesterday Secretary of State Colin Powell laid out his case before the UN Security Council by providing audio tapes that could have just as well have been recorded conversations between a New York cabbie and his dispatcher and satellite photographs which could have been doctored, as Verbal Jam points out, by anyone with the faintest knowledge of PhotoShop.
And lest there are doubts the United States government would fake documentation to support their cynical aims of war, it wasn't so long ago, in the same Gulf, that another Bush president lied about "evidence" provided when they faked 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks standing on the Saudi border in a satellite photo to convince the world Saddam was an immediate threat to world peace. In fact, the United States government has quite a staggering history of lying to its own people and the world in general to satisfy their own aims.
So why would any rational thinking person look at these satellite images of suspected mobile bioweapons labs, information on hidden chemical or biological weapons, and intercepted conversations of Iraqi officials planning to thwart U.N. inspectors, and not be skeptical?
But let's be crazy for a moment and assume that Colin Powell wasn't using doctored material to prove his case. Powell, after all, by an incredible margin of 63 percent to 24 percent, was found in polls to be more credible than George Bush to the American people. So if the Americans wanted to toss someone up on the UN Security Council stage that people wouldn't immediately begin snickering at when he started speaking, Powell was the man. Powell laid out a long presentation yesterday trying convince the United Nations Security Council and the American people that Iraq poses an imminent threat, harbors Al Qaeda terrorists and conceals banned deadly weapons in defiance of a UN order to disarm. If we assume ALL of this to be true, the question that still remains unanswered is WHY a massive bombing campaign is the only solution.
Poor Powell had to go into that UN building unarmed. There wasn't any actual proof of an imminent threat requiring the use of unilateral, preemptive force. None of those satellite photos, none of those prerecorded conversations, none of his speculations amounted to a case that if America doesn't start bombing
In fact, the ONE bit of evidence Powell that might have used to convince at least the American people that Saddam equals Al Qaeda, and thus getting rid of Saddam is equivilent to disarming Al Qaeda, had already been discounted by their own ally's intelligence agency when the British Defense Intelligence assessed that "any fledgling relationship foundered due to mistrust and incompatible ideology".
Think of a sweaty, mendacious used-car salesman trying to close a deal who will tell you anything to get you to buy a car before you leave the lot. That was Powell's job yesterday. To get us all to buy the lemon of war with Iraq.
French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, said, "Given the choice between military intervention and an inspections regime that is inadequate because of the failure to cooperate on Iraq’s part, we must choose the decisive reinforcement of the means of inspections." However, France’s suggestion to triple the number of inspectors was later dismissed by a senior State Department official as missing the point.
Small surprise. First of all, because of France's insubordination to America's war lust, the French are now considered by most Americans to be lower than almost everyone but Saddam and Bin-Laden themselves. Second of all because according to Bush himself, the Americans, much like The Blues Brothers, are on a mission from God. Remember the "We do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving god behind all of life and all of history. May he guide us now, and may God continue to bless the United States of America." closure of his State of the Union speech?
Considering past history of Americans presenting the world with "evidence" justifying their war aims, Powell could have done much better. The boys in the Pentagon should have just gotten busy with PhotoShop and produced a nice photograph that made it all perfectly clear: Saddam and Osama bin-Laden sitting at a cafe somewhere, dining on the limbs of infant children, laughing and spilling blood everywhere while right behind them is a giant blackboard with a checklist of American targets to bomb.
Now that might have been some evidence worth looking at.