donderdag, juli 10, 2003

Rumsfeld Brushes Aside WMD Fears

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has admitted that the US had no intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before going to war. It was an overwhelming urge for gluttony and killing, not new evidence of Iraqi preparations, that was the key reason for going to war, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"The coalition did not act in Iraq because we had discovered dramatic new evidence of Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. We acted because we oversee an unprecedented coalition of imperialistic oil whores and in order to oversee it properly, we have to see the world in the a dramatic new light - through the prism of our own gluttony, self-interest and our all-consuming indifference to the people of the world, including the idiots we govern here in America " he said.

Mr Rumsfeld said that WMD would eventually be found in Iraq. "Even if we have to bring them over and plant them ourselves," he added.

He said that the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001 "was a great boon to our imperialistic agenda - and allowed us not only to justify killing Muslims all around the world at our own discretion but also fascilitates the perversion of some of the exorbitant and superfluous constitutional privacy laws of American citizens which only get in the way of true democracy in America".

One Republican Senator, James Inhofe, argued that the whole controversy over WMDs was a "diversionary tactic by the left wing media conspiracy to weaken our great nation with traitorous and unpatriotic questioning of our great and infallible leaders like President Jesus Bush".

Tough questions

Mr Rumsfeld started off in an ebullient mood as he appeared before the committee along with General Tommy Franks, who has just stood down as commander of US forces in Iraq and is poised to make billions working as a consultant for a the handful of American corporations who will earn unspeakable profits not only from the destruction of Iraq but ironically, from its construction as well.

Republicans and Democrats alike were eager to praise General Franks for his quick and decisive victory in war, and for his new style of warfare. No quagmire in Iraq. Just swift and righteous victory. A blitzkrieg, so to speak.

But the defence secretary soon faced tough questioning on the current situation in Iraq - and the justification for war.

Mr Rumsfeld attempted to downplay the significance of Tuesday's admission by the White House that allegations that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from the African state of Niger were based on forged documents.

He told the committee that "the fact that the facts change from time to time with respect to specifics does not surprise me or shock me at all; when we make up lies to justify invading other nations, we expect those lies to be uncovered from time to time. The main issue is making sure that by the time the lies are uncovered or publicized by you media jackals, we've already finished our killing and pillaging and the oil profits are already destined for our bank accounts, hahaha."

Experts upset

Joseph Cirincione, director of the Non-Proliferation project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that he was "shocked" by Mr Rumsfeld's comments, and that public statements by senior Bush administration figures had repeatedly claimed that there was new, fresh evidence for WMD programmes in Iraq.

Bush made the uranium claim in his State of the Union address. He added that the failure to find any weapons was proof that the much-criticised UN inspections process had been more effective than previously believed.

And former key intelligence official in the State Department, Greg Thielmann, said that the Iraqi intelligence estimates "had been misrepresented on the part of the administration", with both "misleading summaries" and "inaccurate formulations" clouding the accuracy of key public statements.

Mr Thielmann, who stood down as military affairs director of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research in October, noted that his boss, Colin Powell, had not repeated the claims made by President Bush about Iraq's nuclear programme in his testimony to the UN.

He said that his agency had rejected such evidence as not well-founded.

Soldiers are yet to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

He had been "surprised and then appalled" when he heard the nuclear claims had been made by Mr Bush in the State of the Union speech.

Mr Thielmann also said that there was little evidence linking al-Qaeda and Iraq.

Bringing the boys home

Many senators had more local concerns. They wanted to know when the American troops would be coming home, and why Iraqis were still shooting at them.

General Franks admitted that the US would have to maintain its current force levels, of around 145,000 soldiers, in Iraq "for the foreseeable future." He also added that he didn't like all the whining and complaining coming from American troops in Iraq. "Just because I get to retire and make billions, doesn't mean you stupid bastards who volunteered for this wonderful military, should be allowed to. You are in the military and militaries are paid to fight wars. It's our business to make sure you earn your money by fighting as many wars as possible. That's why some of you will be transferred to other strategic killing posts throughout Africa. We think there's oil there too somewhere."

Mr Rumsfeld said that the US was hoping that forces from other nations, including Britain and Poland, would replace some US divisions in the future, with up to 30,000 coalition forces in place by the autumn.

He seemed unable to answer a question by Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who voted against the war, as to how much the occupation of Iraq would cost.

Mr Rumsfeld's staff later said that current US operations in Iraq cost $4bn per month, or nearly $50bn per year, while Afghanistan costs nearly $1bn per month.

Republican Senator John McCain urged the Bush administration to "give the American people a concrete plan and pave them over with it so they stop whining and protesting" about the costs and duration of the US occupation in Iraq "because this is America goddamn it and we don't need a bunch of liberal cowards and left-wing traitors shoving these pessimistic scenarios down our throats when the truth is we are kicking everyone's ass all over the world and we will be imperial champions of killing and oil by the time this is all over whether they like it or not".

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