Friday, May 30, 2003

So just why did America go to war with Iraq, anyways? While some conservatives are jumping for joy, declaring victory over this MidEast country, it's still a bloody mess, and America's troops still continue to die as a result of the chaos that's been unleashed.

THE FIRST REASON was something to do with WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. So far, these weapons have not been found. In a Reuters-Yahoo news story recycled by the Daily Kos , is this recent entry:

(Paul) Wolfowitz, seen as one of the most hawkish figures in the Bush administration's policy on Iraq, said President Saddam Hussein's alleged cache of chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons was merely one of several reasons behind the decision to go to war.

"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on," Wolfowitz was quoted as saying in Vanity Fair magazine's July issue.

No chemical or biological weapons have been found in Iraq despite repeated assertions by President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair before the March 20 invasion that the threat posed by Saddam's vast stocks of banned weapons warranted a war to eliminate them.


OK, so, the WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION was just one of many other reasons to invade Iraq. ANOTHER IMPORTANT REASON brought up by defenders of the Iraq was the subject of HUMANS RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.

There's no argument that Iraq was run by an evil dictator. Looking again at the Daily Kos (the website Forbes magazine once labeled "the best war blog"), I saw an entry that discussed the subject of human rights:

Uzbekistan, Bush ally, boils dissidents
Even as the Bushies and their allies ranted against Saddam's brutality, torture victims, human rights violations, etc., I ranted about the same from some of Bush's closest allies. I particularly focused on Uzbekistan -- the world's most repressive regime post-Taliban, and a beneficiary of Bush's hugs and kisses (to the tune of hundreds of millions in military aid).

You can read about it here, here, here and here.

Well, it seems that at least some are waking up to the brutal regime Bush considers a friend -- a regime that makes Saddam look like a teddy bear:
Independent human rights groups estimate that there are more than 600 politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500 political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners were even boiled to death [...]
Hakimjon Noredinov ... became a human rights activist after a morgue attendant brought him his eldest son, Nozemjon. He had been left for dead by the security service but was still alive despite having his skull fractured. Nozemjon is now 33, but screamed all night since they split his skull open. He is now in an asylum, Mr Noredinov said. "People's lives here are no better for US involvement," he said.
"Because of the US help, Karimov is getting richer and stronger."
Richer to the tune of $500 million last year, including $79 million to the torturing security forces themselves.

After reading that, I then received my daily dose of news from Rhino's Blog , run by my friend Gary Rhine. Here's some choice nuggets:

"War on terror" has made world worse - Amnesty

By Gideon Long, Reuters, 5/28/03
LONDON, May 28 - Washington's "war on terror" has made the world more dangerous by curbing human rights, undermining international law and shielding governments from scrutiny, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. Releasing its annual report into global human rights abuses in 2002, the London-based watchdog made one of its fiercest attacks yet on the policies pursued by the United States and Britain in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. If the war on terror was supposed to make the world safer, it has failed, and has given governments an excuse to abuse human rights in the name of state security, it said.
THE REST OF THE ARTICLE IS AT:
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L28545360.htm

It's not like Amnesty's coming out of left field once a year with their evaluations. Here's a sampling just from one month, this last April, regarding their warning to the bushites.

USA, 9 March 2003
Amnesty International: There is no 'Acceptable' Torture
Admissions in NY Times Article at Odds With President Bush's Earlier Promises

http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/2003/usa03092003.html

USA, 7 March 2003
US Assurances to UN on Torture Insufficient -- 2002 State Dept Reports Condemned 'Stress and Duress' Techniques as Torture

http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/2003/usa03072003_2.html

USA, 5 March 2003
Amnesty International: Alarm at Reports of US Interrogation Techniques
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/2003/usa03052003.html
And Sunday's news on the topic:

Red Cross Denied Access To POWs
Up to 3,000 Iraqis - some of them civilians - believed to be gagged, bound, hooded and beaten at US camps close to Baghdad airport

by Ed Vulliamy, The Observer, Sunday 5/25/03
The United States is illegally holding thousands of Iraqi prisoners of war and other captives without access to human rights officials at compounds close to Baghdad airport, The Observer has learnt.

There have also been reports of a mutiny last week by prisoners at an airport compound, in protest against conditions. The uprising was 'dealt with' by the Americans, according to a US military source.

The International Committee of the Red Cross so far has been denied access to what the organisation believes could be as many as 3,000 prisoners held in searing heat. All other requests to inspect conditions under which prisoners are being held have been met with silence or been turned down.

There is circumstantial evidence that prisoners are being gagged and hooded, in the manner of the Afghans and other captives held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba - treatment in itself questionable under international law.
THE REST OF THE ARTICLE IS AT:
http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,963108,00.html

OK, so could sometime please tell me just WHY WE INVADED IRAQ? Call me naive, but I'm still thinking that oil, greed, money and power had something to do with it......

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E.P. Friday, May 30, 2003