Some Good Reasons for Bashing Bush: “noble” and “ignoble” lies

Blood-thirsty Jews and Neocon power mongers

 

During the last ten years, one of the hottest discussion topic for students, journalists and experts on international relations has been – not surprisingly – the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers and the huge impact that 9/11 had on everyone’s daily life, not to mention its immediate strategic implications. Al-Qaeda had struck, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were the answers of the Western World to this attack. However, the latter was not everyone’s war: many Westerners were in fact utterly against the invasion of Iraq. The debate soon became entrenched (and intoxicated) in politics, according to the classic horizontal left-right (liberal-conservative) division. The Neoconservative active argument for war had to do with humanitarianism, democracy and security, the passive liberal argument for not entering into war, instead, relied on the notions of peace, status-quo and appeasement.  The aim of this paper is to show how the opposition to the 2003 war in Iraq was ideologically flawed, characterized by a total lack of moral clarity and – indeed – instrumental to the political agenda of the leaders of France and Germany. Moreover, I argue that -fed with the sensationalistic assumptions of the international press- the international public opinion has been badly informed when not completely indoctrinated by journalists from all over the world. This led to an atmosphere of “Bush Bashing” and “Neoconservative witch-hunt” much enjoyed by certain liberal media outlets.[1] In this context, I also contend that the international community has witnessed one of the most spectacular lies of the liberal press, when the very serious and real threat of WMDs in Iraq (ask the Kurds) was dismissed as a joke by so many leftist commentators and newspapers around the globe. However, not only Saddam Hussein had been continuously refusing to allow thorough inspections from the UNSCOM (United Nation Special Commission) throughout the nineties, but the fact that his scientists were working hard toward the achievement of a vast arsenal of WMDs is also very well-known.[2] Moreover, by the late nineties, not only Saddam possessed plenty of WMDs (such as smallpox virus, mustard, tabun, anthrax and nerve agent), but he had also used them against the Kurds in hideous ethnic cleansing campaigns.

The fact that UNSCOM was created in the first place “to carry out immediate on-site inspections of Iraq’s biological, chemical and missile capabilities”, like its mandate states, should be a good reason for doubting the honesty of dictators like Saddam as well as a reason good enough for any un-biased observer to consider more seriously the threat of Iraqi WMDs.[3] Instead the argument was dismissed with a laughter and a pinch of haughtiness by most of the liberal press even though the UN Security Council, at that time, was rather busy imposing sanctions against Iraq for reiterated non-compliance, not only with the inspections, but also with the most basic humanitarian international standards. In January 2003, Scott Ritter – the then chief inspector of the UN – reported to the Security Council that Saddam had cooperated with the inspections on “process but not substance”.[4] Even though Charles Duelfer’s final report on WMDs in Iraq was negative, it was not really “final”. The CIA’s Top Weapons inspector included several warnings in his report; for example on the existence in Iraq of unexploded devices from the 1991 War in The Gulf and – most notably – on the fact that a special task force (which was formed to investigate on possible transfers of WMDs from Iraq into Syria) was not capable of fulfilling all of its tasks, due to the ever deteriorating security situation on the ground.[5] It is very probable than no one would never be able to recover any stockpile of WMDs in Iraq, that does not mean – however – that threat itself never existed. This is why I argue that the debate has been somehow intoxicated: the case for intervention in Iraq was there for everyone to see: one the most cruel dictators of all times was hosting highly rank al-Qaeda operatives apart from deporting and killing his own people. I argue, for this reason, that many liberal media outlets and pundits around the globe (including myself, in Italy) lacked moral clarity during the course of the events in Iraq, and that the stances that they presented were rooted in cultural relativism and political correctness. Journalists all around the world were driven by the desire to become protagonists of this war, rather than simple reporters: they had eagerly transformed themselves into commentators and – in doing so – they betrayed their readers and the world around them, apart from professional ethics. It is no surprise, therefore, that in the midst of all this confusion, right after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers, which left almost three thousand people dead and more than six thousand injured, many otherwise normally reasoning people had absolutely no problem in buying the all package of incongruous conspiracy theories which circulated at that time. These theories were in most cases much more intricate and flamboyant than sci-fi movies and depicted a scenario in which the usual Jewish suspects were trying to conquer the world, while their Neocon crooks and cronies were instead busy controlling “the Matrix”. And so, we soon had the new urban legend of the Jews whom– alerted on the imminent danger by their co-religionists – did not go to work on September 11, suddenly untouched by their usual stinginess and appetite for money.[6] Perhaps, conspiracy theories were successful because they delivered easy (although spectacular) explanations for complicated international issues. For instance, according to this rationale, oil became the sole objective for the Americans and their dirty wars, even though it had absolutely nothing to do with the 2003 war in Iraq. And, of course, it was the Neoconservative administration itself that perpetrated the attacks, so that the Bush family could raise money with weapons and oil, even though Osama bin-Laden was pretty prompt in claiming responsibility for the offence.[7]

 

Some Good Reasons for Bashing Bush: “noble” and “ignoble” lies

 

When, in 2005, Geoffrey Wheatcroft wrote that American Neocons “always wanted a war to destroy Saddam – and they are disciples of Leo Strauss, who, following Plato’s ‘noble lie’, argued that ‘moral virtue’ in a mass democracy means ‘controlling the unintelligent majority’, he was cavalcading the liberal idea according to which the Neoconservatives wanted to control the ignorant masses of this world and take advantage of them, in full-blown collaboration with the evergreen Jewish Lobby.[8] Wheatcroft boringly quoted the same old argument of the “noble lie” without having really read Plato’s Republic. At some point in this absolute masterpiece of political thought, a fictional Socrates says to his interlocutor, Adeimantus, that: “[t]hen if anyone at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the State should be the persons; and they, in their dealings either with enemies or with their own citizens, may be allowed to lie for the public good”.[9] Of course, being allowed to lie for the sake of public good in extreme circumstances of life and death is quite different than “controlling the unintelligent majority”. However, similar misinterpretations of the ancient philosophers’ masterpieces are quite common, and it is only normal to expect that many of the subtle details of these books would get “lost in translation”. Especially when they are filtered and adapted by journalists (willingly or not) to fit this or that political agenda.  Machiavelli has been misinterpreted in a comparable fashion on his point of “duty to preserve the society on the part of the Prince”, for instance. In nowadays’ acceptation, the well-known notion according to which “the end justifies the means” has been wrongly attributed to Machiavelli, who wrote – in a letter to his friend Giovan Battista Soderini – the following sentence upon which the proverbial motto was later construed: “[h]ence I think not according to your perspective, wherein nothing but prudence is visible, but to the perspective of the many, which must see the ends, not the means, of things”.[10] Instead, in “The Prince”, Machiavelli explained how the rulers have the duty to defend the existence of their own people by any means and that they – anyway –were not the masters but the “servants” of the State.[11]  I contend –together with Douglas Murray – that the notion of “noble lie” is fundamentally flawed in the sense that it stands on a misconception of Plato and Machiavelli, who were not advocates of tyrannies and dictatorships but rather of democracy and the rule of law: the same values that are dear to Neocons too. Moreover, as Murray wrote, I argue that the notion of noble lie is:

“[G]lib and offensive nonsense…the accusation is a further blithe attempt by members of the press to claim that prominent politicians are liars…it is wrong because, far from concealing anything from their people, the governments of the US and the UK told their people everything they knew…and they discussed and made available intelligence that was incorrect, information that were unclear and certain amount of raw intelligence that may turn out to be comprehensively mistaken”.[12]

Perhaps no one, other than my friend and colleague Douglas Murray, has been more efficient at exposing  the lack of moral clarity  on the part of Europeans with his book, “Neoconservatism: Why We Need It”, from which I took inspiration.  This philosophical premise was necessary to introduce my second argument: the opposition of Gerard Schroder and Jacques Chirac to the military intervention in Iraq was instrumental to their respective concerns of domestic policy; however, it was presented to the public as an ideological stance. If the Neoconservative one was a “noble lie”, than this was certainly an “ignoble lie”. Schroder, in fact, was re-elected in 2002 by the means of an electoral campaign filled with anti-Americanism and populism.[13] Earlier on, right after the attacks of 9/11, Schroder completely ignored the repeated warnings of August Hanning (head of the German Federal Intelligence Office at that time) according to which Saddam was close to achieving the atomic bomb.[14] The German Chancellor “stayed the course” of his apparently ideological stance against the war in Iraq, even after he received new and frightening information about the existence of stockpiles of smallpox virus from UN inspectors.[15] It is important to underline that, in this occasion, the German government decided not to give away details of the intelligence report until later on, since the evidence was not fitting with the argument of “no WMDs in Iraq whatsoever” and therefore detrimental to its own agenda. When the story finally erupted on the press, in February 2003, all of a sudden the Germans did not feel so at ease with their pacifism anymore.[16] On his part, it is clear that the then French President Jacques Chirac was very well informed of the special relationship between his country and the regime of Saddam Hussein and determined not to ruin it. France had always seized every opportunity that it was presented to her to push for the lifting of the sanctions that the UN had previously imposed on Saddam for not allowing thorough inspections in his country between 1991 and 1998. This is what William Safire wrote on the New York Times back in 1995:

Because Saddam had been lying about his secret germ production, nations eager to lift the sanctions on Iraq were frustrated in their desire to begin business as usual. France, China and Russia on the Security Council, as well as Germany and Ukraine, Bulgaria and North Korea, want Iraq pumping and selling oil again, providing the money to buy their nuclear and missile technology”.[17]

France has always maintained very strong diplomatic ties with Iraqi leaders in recent times: it is only normal and it is in line with her aspirations and foreign policy’s priorities. It is so much so that the respective governments of Paris and Baghdad have been collaborating in the development of a proper nuclear atomic program in Iraq since the 1970s.[18]  The rest it’s history: everyone knows about “Operation Opera” and how the Iraqi nuclear reactor that was built in collaboration with French engineers was destroyed by the Israeli Air Forces’ raid in 1981.[19] Had the Israeli government not conducted that air raid, the story of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait might have been entirely different. However, given the existence of this French-Iraqi “atomic-comradeship”, it is no surprise that the Electricity Minister of Iraq has recently called for the French to come help in the construction of a new nuclear reactor.[20] In fact, as Chirac himself admitted in a famous interview previous to March 2003, France was not a “pacifist nation” and his veto on a possible intervention was the only way to avoid war, given the fact that Iraq was not a “dead end”.[21] No one summarizes better my point on the “ignoble lie” than Andrew Sullivan:

By taking the anti-American line, they risk nothing. They know the US will deal with the threat; by appeasing the Islamo-fascists, the Franco-German axis hopes to avoid any blowback. This is what they call being an ally”.[22]

The threat of WMDs in Iraq has always been real and dreadful, not just for the Kurds who experimented it the bad way, but for regional and global stability too. An official, report that the UN Secretary General transmitted to the Council in 2003, is still available online. It contains a list of traditional weapons and WMDs that were in possession of the Ba’athist regime at the time of the inspections. This included: fifty deployed ‘Al-Samoud 2’ missiles, various equipment including vehicles, engines and warheads, related to the aforementioned missiles, two large propellant casting chambers, fourteen 155 mm shells filled with mustard gas (the mustard gas totaling approximately 49 liters and still at high purity), roughly 500 ml of thiodiglycol, some 122 mm chemical warheads, some chemical equipment and 224.6 kg of expired growth media.[23] Saddam, however, not only possessed chemical and bacteriological weapons and had used them against his own people, he was also dangerous in more traditional ways. The story of how Mahdi Obeidi – a personal collaborator of the Saddam family in the fabrication of WMDs – came out and revealed the position of the blueprint and some components for a nuclear centrifuge, right after the dismantling of the system of terror that coerced the Iraqi scientific community into collaboration, says a lot about the potential dangers of a covert nuclear program in Iraq: “hundreds of my former staff members and fellow scientists”, wrote Obeidi in 2004, “possess the knowledge that could be useful to a rogue nation eager for a covert nuclear weapons program”.[24]  At that time it very well seemed that Charles Duelfer, the CIA inspector, was doing his job. Apart from lacking moral clarity, the false ideological stances of France and Germany also contributed to the already exacerbated debate on the international press. They provided more maneuvering room for people that were largely uninformed on the subject at matter and that nevertheless ended-up leading a crusade against Bush and Blair and in favor of the European politicians who, in their eyes, were only defending a moral stance against blood-thirsty Americans and British power mongers. The rise of this “new counter culture” as Murray described it, happened in September 2002, when anti-War demonstrations in America and Europe witnessed the alliance between socialists and radical Islam.[25] Of the hundreds of protests and demonstrations that took place in the United States alone, right after September 11, many were organized with the intent of preventing the US Government from acting in self-defense and against the terrorists that hit Manhattan and the Pentagon.[26] Others witnessed the participation of anti-Semitic groups: in Paris (April 2003), protesters showed signs bearing the Star of David intertwined with a Nazi swastika, chanted “Vive Chirac! Stop the Jews”, than attacked and injured some Jewish students with iron sticks and finally burned the Israeli flag. Some of them were carrying picture of Saddam Hussein. In October 2002, The Guardian reported a letter from three Jewish women that took part in another anti-war march and found themselves surrounded by people that hated them:

“We unreservedly support an end to occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state. We also deplore US hypocrisy in its selective opposition to UN resolutions. But to be surrounded by hate-filled chanting and images in which anti-Israel and anti-Jewish imagery were blurred left us feeling deeply alienated. How else could we feel when we saw placards featuring swastikas and the Star of David – an ancient symbol for all Jews everywhere, not just for the state of Israel – as synonymous symbols of oppression?”[27]

 

NYC Columbia University Professor Eric Foner, once stated in an interview: “I’m not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House”.[28] Foner was also famous for having said that, since the Americans had produced terrorism itself, they had no right whatsoever to intervene anywhere, or to defend themselves against terrorists attacks. Another communist educator, professor Ward Churchill – this time from the University of Colorado- championed  the idea according to which “America once did this and therefore has no right to do that” and found no problems in depicting the victims of 9/11 as “little Eichmanns…civilians of a sort. But, innocent? Gimme a break”.[29] Of course Professor Churchill was instead innocent: he had never had anything to do with the United States, apart from being an American professor teaching in a Colorado university. The purpose of Neo-conservatism is to provide an answer to this kind of deviated academic culture and to explain to the normally reasoning people – like the three anti-war Jewish women – why they should have not taken part in that anti-war march and why it was the Germans and the French that were being hypocrites, not the US. Neocon thinkers such as Irving Kristol, have explained why it is worth to fight for some of the ideas of the West and why multiculturalism is nihilistic and dangerous.[30] They have done so, with the help of a philosophical background that was provided for them by Leo Strauss and Allan Bloom. Indeed, in Foner and Churchill’s paradoxical and self-destructing language, it’s easy to bone up traces of Allan Bloom’s biggest concern for the future of the American society. Bloom had in fact written about the perils of cultural relativism back in 1987, and had explained how relativism was an extremely dangerous philosophical attitude, showing remarkable clairvoyance. Almost fifteen years later, an American professor in New York was telling his students that Saddam was the example to follow and that Bush was instead a liar and a blood-thirsty power monger. Another American professor said that the victims of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers practically deserved to be killed. The crucial moment that Bloom had envisioned in 1984 had finally arrived:

This is the American moment in world history, the one for which we shall forever be judged. Just as in politics, the responsibility for the fate of freedom in the world has devolved upon our regime, so the fate of philosophy in the world has devolved upon our universities and the two are related has they have never been before”.[31]

The Closing of the American Mind, however, was not just limited to the academic world, as I have shown. By 2005, similar anti-Western, anti-Jewish and nihilist statements had crossed the Rubicon and were being reiterated by prominent liberal journalists and pundits, while echoing in the streets’ protests. For instance, when Naomi Klein, one of the major contributor to the leftist rhetorical argument of relativism, wrote on The Guardian that it was “time to bring Najaf to New York”, she was not only being self-destructive indeed, but she was also being very un-respectful of the victims of 9/11, who had experienced not long ago what was it like to be in an inferno.[32] And when Yasmin Alibhai Brown admitted in The Evening Standard that:

“It is a fearful and turbulent country the new Western Imperialists hand over to the Iraqis. The past months have been challenging for us in the anti-war camp. I am ashamed to admit that there have been times when I wanted more chaos, more shocks, more disorder to teach our side a lesson. On Monday I found myself again hoping that this handover proves a failure because it has been orchestrated by the Americans.” [33]

 

She was not just being morally dishonest to the point of wishing destruction for the very soldiers that gave their life to save her and her compatriots, but also dangerously relativistic in comparing her side (the Western) to the side of the al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgents in Iraq. Finally, another champion of relativism and equivalences between terrorists and leaders of the West (i.e. Bush and Blair), is Michael Moore, who once described the contractors in Iraq as soldiers and mercenaries:

“They are MERCENARIES and SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE. They are there for the money…The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not “insurgents” or “terrorists” or “The Enemy.” They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush?” [34]

Conclusion: the case for intervention

 

Regardless of the WMDs’ issue and the Security Council approval, I argue that the United States had the right to intervene in Iraq and to topple the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein: it was a just war, notwithstanding the opposition of the UN Security Council. The Americans did not need the approval of the UN: like Michael Glennon explained, the Council failed to act – in the case of Iraq – as an arbiter of international law and it did lose some of its original identity.[35] The countries that strongly opposed the so called “eighteenth resolution” – which called for intervention in Iraq – were Russia, China, Syria, Germany and France: why in the world would the government of the United States ask the permission of communists, Russians toughs and terrorists of the al-Assad family, in order to please the foreign policy of the French and the Germans? It was the Security Council itself that paved the way for the war in Iraq by not fulfilling its duties completely. Bottom line: Saddam was allowed to become a dangerous factor for the stability of the entire Middle Eastern region thanks to the ambiguous attitude of the Council: just as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran nowadays. Instead of repeatedly calling into the question arguments of international law – without carefully taking into account the entire political scenario and the various interests of all the actors involved, not just of the US – and instead of being concerned with the stability of the Ba’athist regime, the exponents of the new counter-culture should have been pointing their fingers at the atrocities that Saddam committed against the Kurds. When Tom Barnet said that the last imminent threat that America had received was in 1962 (at the time of the Cuban missiles crisis), he was somehow implying that – basically – there is no more need for security policy and that the “obsession” for security issues on the part of the Neocons was totally out of this planet.[36] However, 9/11 had just happened and that was not just an “imminent threat” but a full-blown terrorist attack on the American soil. It came soon after the end of a period in which the Clinton administration committed itself to abundant cuts in Defense spending. Ali Allawi wrote that “George W. Bush had a legion of academic and think-tank cheerleaders for his Iraq venture” who drew “their inspiration from radical conservatism and an unapologetic defence of western –mainly American – values” and that “[t]heir description of the Arab Middle East bordered on caricature. It was of a reactionary, anti-modern, even nihilistic, culture”.[37] Allawi, exactly like Foner, Churchill and Naomi Klein, was depicting the Neoconservatives as stupid puppets in the hands of the “Evil Lord” George W. Bush, the new Bonaparte, the last conqueror of the world. And he, exactly like the others, lacked a great deal of moral clarity in his exposition of the facts. For the Neocon’s idea of pre-emptive strike was not “reactionary”, like Ali claimed: there is nothing reactionary about trying to oppose dictatorships, to the contrary, Mussolini’s ideas were reactionary. There was nothing anti-modern in the Neoconservative rhetoric, instead, there might be something anti-modern in the Islamic culture. Of course, nihilism is a philosophical attitude that pertains to others, as I wrote before, and certainly not to Kristol or Murray; and it also seems that Ali is using the word without really knowing its meaning. Finally, it was not the description that the experts of the Bush administration gave on the state of Middle Eastern policy, but the Middle Eastern policy itself that “bordered the caricature”, like Ali put it. My opinion is that it takes a much distorted mind to part with dictators and Islamo-fascists who want the destruction of the West as we know it. It takes a crazy man to wish for the End of History to happen in exactly the opposite way in which Fukuyama had envisioned it: with the demise of Western democracies.[38]

 

 

REFERENCES

Agence France-Presse, Iraq Invites France to Build Nuclear Reactor, Defense News, February, 22, 2008: http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3958746

Yasmin Aibhai-Brown ,  My shame at savouring American failure in Iraq: http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Yasmin_Alibhai-Brown (original version of the article no more online due to public disputes)

Ali A.Allawi, The Occupation of Iraq, Winning the War, Losing the Peace, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, 2007, p. 455

America.Gov Archive, The 4,000 Jews rumor, November 16 2007: http://www.america.gov/st/pubs-english/2007/November/20050114145729atlahtnevel0.1679041.html

Anti-war rally in San Francisco, USA, on Saturday, February 16, 2003: http://zombietime.com/sf_rally_february_16_2003/

Tom Barnett film clip: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/33

Osama bin Laden’s 9/11 Confession, ABC News, February 5, 2011: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/osama-bin-laden-911-confession-13506877

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1987, p. 382:http://www.archive.org/stream/ClosingOfTheAmericanMind#page/n375/mode/2up/search/STEWARDSHIP

Ward Churchill’s controversial statement on the victims of 9/11: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Churchill_September_11_attacks_essay_controversy

CIA’s Final Report: no WDM found in Iraq, Associated Press, MSNBC, April 24, 2005: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7634313/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/cias-final-report-no-wmd-found-iraq/

Marc Erikson, Germany’s leading role in arming Iraq, AsiaTimeOnline, February 5, 2003: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EB05Ak02.html

Eric Foner: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printindividualProfile.asp?indid=2205

For a quick refresh on Operation Opera: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Opera

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Biological Terrorism : Danger Hushed Up, February 16 2003: http://www.rense.com/general34/german.htm (translated from the original)

Frances Fukuyama, The End of History, The National Interest, 1989: http://www.wesjones.com/eoh.htm

Michael J.Glennon, Why the Security Council Failed, Foreign Affairs, 82/3, May/June 2003, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/58972/michael-j-glennon/why-the-security-council-failed

Iraq: Weapons Threat, Compliance, Sanctions, and U.S. Policy, Issue Brief for Congress, February 19, 2003: http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/18224.pdf

Irish Anti-War rally in Dublin, Ireland, 31 May 2010: http://markhumphrys.com/iawm.html

Naomi Klein, It’s Time to Bring Najaf Back Home, The Guardian co.uk, Friday 27 August 2004: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/aug/27/usa.iraq1

Carol Kopp, Chirac Makes His Case On Iraq, CBSNewsdotcom, February 11, 2009: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/16/60minutes/main544161.shtml

Irving Kristol, 1920-2009, by Melanie Phillips, israpundits.com, September 22, 2009: http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=17122

Andrea Loquenzi, Texani in Iraq: Gli Effetti Perversi della Democrazia, Il Barbiere della Sera, August 8, 2005: http://www.ilbarbieredellasera.com/article.php?sid=14056

Niccolò Machiavelli, Sghiribizzi Scritti in Raugia, Perugia, 1506, quoted in Machiavelli and his friends: Their Personal Correspondence, Northern Illinois UP, 1996, pp. 134-36, Transl. J.B. Atkinson and David Sices: http://www.idehist.uu.se/distans/ilmh/Ren/flor-mach-ghiribizzi.htm

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1515, translated by W. K. Marriott: http://www.constitution.org/mac/prince.txt

Michael Moore, Hands up for…Michael Moore: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mikes-letter/heads-up-from-michael-moore

Douglas Murray, Neoconservatism why we need it, Encounter Books, New York, 2006, p. 131

Mahdi Obeidi, Saddam, The Bomb and Me, The New York Times, September 26, 2004: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/26/opinion/26obeidi.html?pagewanted=print&position

Amos Perlmutter, Michael I. Handel, Uri Bar-Joseph. Two Minutes over Baghdad, Routledge (2nd ed.), 2008, pp. XVII-XXX: http://books.google.com/books?id=xfYmWEVzkOQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Plato, The Republic, Book III, Socrates/Adeimantus’ dialogue: http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.mb.txt

Post march reflections, Guardian.co.uk:http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2002/oct/01/guardianletters4

Ulrich Rippert (Quoted in), Why Germany’s Christian Democrats support the war against Iraq: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/feb2003/cdu-f25.shtml

William Safire, Saddam Wins Again, The New York Times, October 16, 1995: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE3DF1739F935A25753C1A963958260

William Shawcross, Allies – The US, Britain, Europe and the War in Iraq, Public Affairs, Cambridge, 2004, p.103

Andrew Sullivan’s Blog, The Germans and Smallpox, Feb 19 2003: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/846434/posts

Dr Rihab Taha, (interview with), Iraq Bio-scientist breaks silence, BBC News World Edition, February 9 2003: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/panorama/2734305.stm

Thirteenth quarterly report of the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission: http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/documents/S-2003-580.pdf

UNSCOM Mandate: http://www.un.org/Depts/unscom/unscom.htm

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Blair still took us to war on a lie, The Guardian, March 5, 2005: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/mar/05/iraq.iraq


[1] I include myself in this list of “Bush Bashers”, Andrea Loquenzi, Texani in Iraq: Gli Effetti Perversi della Democrazia, Il Barbiere della Sera, August 8, 2005: http://www.ilbarbieredellasera.com/article.php?sid=14056

[2] Interview with Dr Rihab Taha, Iraq Bio-scientist breaks silence, BBC News World Edition, February 9 2003: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/panorama/2734305.stm

[4] Iraq: Weapons Threat, Compliance, Sanctions, and U.S. Policy, Issue Brief for Congress, February 19, 2003: http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/18224.pdf

[5] CIA’s Final Report: no WDM found in Iraq, Associated Press, MSNBC, April 24, 2005: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7634313/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/cias-final-report-no-wmd-found-iraq/

[6] America.Gov Archive, The 4,000 Jews rumor, November 16 2007: http://www.america.gov/st/pubs-english/2007/November/20050114145729atlahtnevel0.1679041.html

[7] Osama bin Laden’s 9/11 Confession, ABC News, February 5, 2011: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/osama-bin-laden-911-confession-13506877

[8] Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Blair still took us to war on a lie, The Guardian, March 5, 2005: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/mar/05/iraq.iraq

[9] Plato, The Republic, Book III, Socrates/Adeimantus’ dialogue: http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.mb.txt

[10] Sghiribizzi Scritti in Raugia, Niccolò Machiavelli, Perugia, 1506, quoted in Machiavelli and his friends: Their Personal Correspondence, Northern Illinois UP, 1996, pp. 134-36, Transl. J.B. Atkinson and David Sices: http://www.idehist.uu.se/distans/ilmh/Ren/flor-mach-ghiribizzi.htm

[11] Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1515, translated by W. K. Marriott: http://www.constitution.org/mac/prince.txt

[12] Douglas Murray, Neoconservatism why we need it, Encounter Books, New York, 2006, p. 131

[13] William Shawcross, Allies – The US, Britain, Europe and the War in Iraq, Public Affairs, Cambridge, 2004, p.103

[14] Marc Erikson, Germany’s leading role in arming Iraq, AsiaTimeOnline, February 5, 2003: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EB05Ak02.html

[15] Quoted in Ulrich Rippert, Why Germany’s Christian Democrats support the war against Iraq: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/feb2003/cdu-f25.shtml

[16] Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Biological Terrorism : Danger Hushed Up, February 16 2003: http://www.rense.com/general34/german.htm (translated from the original)

[17] William Safire, Saddam Wins Again, The New York Times, October 16, 1995: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE3DF1739F935A25753C1A963958260

[18] Amos Perlmutter, Michael I. Handel, Uri Bar-Joseph. Two Minutes over Baghdad, Routledge (2nd ed.), 2008, pp. XVII-XXX: http://books.google.com/books?id=xfYmWEVzkOQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

[19] For a quick refresh on Operation Opera: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Opera

[20]Agence France-Presse, Iraq Invites France to Build Nuclear Reactor, Defense News, February, 22, 2008: http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3958746

[21] Carol Kopp, Chirac Makes His Case On Iraq, CBSNewsdotcom, February 11, 2009: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/16/60minutes/main544161.shtml

[22] From Andrew Sullivan’s Blog, The Germans and Smallpox, Feb 19 2003: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/846434/posts

[23] Thirteenth quarterly report of the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission: http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/documents/S-2003-580.pdf

[24] Mahdi Obeidi, Saddam, The Bomb and Me, The New York Times, September 26, 2004: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/26/opinion/26obeidi.html?pagewanted=print&position

[25] Irish Anti-War rally in Dublin, Ireland, 31 May 2010: http://markhumphrys.com/iawm.html

[26] Anti-war rally in San Francisco, USA, on Saturday, February 16, 2003: http://zombietime.com/sf_rally_february_16_2003/

[29] Ward Churchill’s controversial statement on the victims of 9/11: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Churchill_September_11_attacks_essay_controversy

[30]Irving Kristol, 1920-2009, by Melanie Phillips, israpundits.com, September 22, 2009: http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=17122

[31] Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1987, p. 382: http://www.archive.org/stream/ClosingOfTheAmericanMind#page/n375/mode/2up/search/STEWARDSHIP

[32] Naomi Klein, It’s Time to Bring Najaf Back Home, The Guardian co.uk, Friday 27 August 2004: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/aug/27/usa.iraq1

[33] Yasmin Aibhai-Brown  ‘My shame at savouring American failure in Iraq’: http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Yasmin_Alibhai-Brown (original version of the article no more online due to public disputes)

[35] Michael J. Glennon, Why the Security Council Failed, Foreign Affairs, 82/3, May/June 2003, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/58972/michael-j-glennon/why-the-security-council-failed

[37] Ali A. Allawi, The Occupation of Iraq, Winning the War, Losing the Peace, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, 2007, p. 455

[38] Frances Fukuyama, The End of History, The National Interest, 1989: http://www.wesjones.com/eoh.htm

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Andrea Loquenzi Holzer

The truth will set you free

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