THE DEBATE OVER IRAQ
Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
On November 17, 2005, Democratic "hawk" U.S. Rep. John Murtha called for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, pointing out that our continued presence there only fuels the insurgency (attacks have increased to 700 per week compared to only 150 per week last year). This has been added to the call for an investigation of the Bush administration's rationale for war.
The primary reason given for invading Iraq was the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). After all, we had given Saddam the material they used to make the chemical weapons Iraq used against Iran (see my COVER-UP book pages 49-50). I believe Democrats' repeated claims that Iraq had "no" WMD will eventually be proven incorrect, as Israeli intelligence detected large trucks moving from Iraq through Syria into Lebanon just before the invasion. While there is a lack of hard evidence for the large amount of WMD to which Colin Powell referred at the U.N., it must be remembered that only a small amount of nerve gas, for example, can kill a large number of people.
The Bush administration said it was concerned that Saddam, if left in power, might give WMD to terrorists. Logically, though, the one way to be sure Saddam would do exactly that would be to invade Iraq. Before having his WMD discovered and destroyed, he would disperse them outside the country.
Therefore, the U.S. should not have invaded Iraq unless a number of critical questions could be answered satisfactorily.
First, was there a plan to keep Iraq's WMD from being dispersed (e.g., borders sealed and airspace denied)?
Second, before launching a pre-emptive attack, was there a plan to deal with the precedent that would set (e.g., suppose China launched a pre-emptive attack against Taiwan claiming the latter had WMD)?
Third, because it made no sense for Saddam to send his army into the desert to be bombed into oblivion, was there a plan for engaging in prolonged urban guerrilla warfare against insurgents using roadside bombs, etc. (in my COVER-UP book, which was published BEFORE the war began, I included a quote by exiled Iraqi Lt.-Gen. Tawfik al-Yassiri revealing there would be a guerrilla war)?
Fourth, because the Iraqi army was disbanded, was there a plan for sufficient American forces to provide security (to prevent the 100,000 criminals Saddam released and others from looting, kidnapping, etc.) for the entire civilian population of Iraq, and to prevent oil pipeline destruction (there are only about 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq now, but former President Bush sent almost 4 times that many just to remove Saddam's forces from Kuwait in 1991)?
Fifth, because of the destruction and displacement caused by war, was there a jobs program planned for Iraqi civilians and former military personnel (unemployment is now about 60%)?
Sixth, was there a plan quickly to provide potable water, electricity, etc. for all of the Iraqi people, with a timetable and supplies in place (oil and energy production are below pre-war levels; only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent; and only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects has been spent)?
Seventh, because we wanted to establish a democratic government in Iraq, was there a plan to persuade Sunnis to be willing to live under majority Shiite Islamic law (this would be like Protestants in the U.S. living under Catholic sectarian law, or vice versa)?
Eighth, was there a plan sufficiently to provide American soldiers with bullet-proof vests and reinforced armor-plated vehicles (some soldiers' families have had to buy bullet-proof vests for them, and many vehicles haven't been fitted with reinforced armor plating)?
Ninth, was there a plan quickly to train Iraqis to take over military operations (over 2 years after the war began, there are relatively few Iraqi forces that can operate independently)?
Tenth, was there a plan to prevent insurgents from infiltrating the Iraqi military and police?
Eleventh, as Iraqis take more control, was there a plan to prevent them from torturing prisoners like Saddam Hussein did (this past week secret Iraqi prisons were revealed where torture occurred)?
Obviously, the answer to the above questions is that there was a serious lack of planning regarding the war with Iraq. One might therefore ask why did we really go to war? And to answer that question, one might ask, "Who really controls the White House?" The answer is PNAC (Project for the New American Century).
In case you think that is a ridiculous claim, you should know that on ABC's "Nightline" (March 5, 2003), host Ted Koppel began the program by referring to "The Plan" of PNAC and how "its blueprint has brought us to the brink of war....They were pushing for the elimination of Saddam Hussein, and proposing the establishment of a strong U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf, linked to a willingness to use force to protect vital American interests in the Gulf." Koppel probably got this information from reading PNAC's report, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," published in September 2000. On ABC"s "This Week" (November 20, 2005), George Will asserted that "we are conducting an imperial foreign policy." And on the aforementioned "Nightline" program, Prof. Ian Lustick of the University of Pennsylvania was not challenged by Ted Koppel when the former said, "After 9/11...this small group (PNAC) was able to gain direct contact and even control, now, of the White House."
Before the Bush administration came into office, individuals involved with PNAC included I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby and future top Pentagon officials Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Stephen Cambone. In March 2001, Cambone along with Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Hugh Shelton attended a briefing on the secret Able Danger project which identified members of Al Qaeda such as Mohamed Atta and three others involved in the attacks of 9/11. This was the month BEFORE the White House even nominated Cambone to be Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.
About a month before the attacks of 9/11, Gen. Mahmud Ahmad (head of Pakistani intelligence) had $100,000 wired to 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta. And on September 4, 2001, Gen. Ahmad arrived in Washington, DC, for 2 weeks of discussions with some top Pentagon officials and others. Just out of curiosity, I have filed 2 Freedom of Information requests with the Pentagon asking:  "Who were the top Pentagon officials who met with Gen. Ahmad?"  "Who were the top Pentagon officials on September 10, 2001, who suddenly cancelled their travel plans for the morning of 9/11 apparently because of security concerns?"
Early in 2003, Cambone became the first Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, coordinating 85% of all U.S. intelligence. Not long after this, President Bush, on August 1, 2003, named Gen. Peter Schoomaker Army Chief of Staff. Schoomaker had supervised Able Danger (begun at the request of Gen. Hugh Shelton) since its inception in September 1999.
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Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.
Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or edited twenty books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs USA Today and CBS's Nightwatch.
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The primary reason given for invading Iraq was the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). After all, we had given Saddam the material they used to make the chemical weapons Iraq used against Iran...