War Plans Finally Set In Motion

Joel Skousen

March 7, 2003

It appears that the Bush administration has decided to stop reacting to
the UN and finally set the war on Iraq in motion. British forces have
been told, according to the Daily London Express, that the war will be
initiated by a massive 4-day bombing attack on March 13 and a ground
invasion on the 17th.

Another telling sign that an offensive will soon
be underway is that the Marine Corps body bag units are being deployed
to Iraq on March 9. Their deployment has been on hold since February 22.
Body bag units, which gather the dead and prepare them for shipment back
home, are usually the last to be deployed to a war zone before the
beginning of hostilities.

The US and its coalition partners now have
over 300,000 troops in the war zone. Reports from soldiers in the field
indicate that morale is sagging due to the continual delays, rising
temperatures, and the daily drag of training exercises, coupled with the
additional strain of being on constant alert. April begins the really
hot season, so the US wants this war wrapped up by the end of April.

Still, the delays while dealing with the UN have in many ways served
well the global purposes of the Bush administration insiders who call
the shots. First, the more time the US takes in negotiating with the UN
and delaying the start of the war, the better they are able to deflect
criticism that Bush is "hell bent on war," even though he is. At least
one national pundit has made the case that the Bush administration has
been very slow and careful about going to war. Baloney. An honest
president without a hidden agenda wouldn't be spending billions
transferring half his armed forces to Iraq before establishing a strong
case that the nation is a clear and present danger to the United States

Second, using bribery, coercion, and other means, the US has been able
to twist enough arms to put together the appearance of a coalition to
deflect the charges of unilateral action. No honest observer believes
that the US is not acting unilaterally, since it is common knowledge
that without US pressure none of the other nations would be threatening
hostilities against Iraq. Just this past week, the news surfaced that
the US has been using ongoing wire taps on Security Council member
phones to gather information on the position of certain nations relative
to Iraq. Again, the break came via foreign news sources; the American
media is completely controlled. The London Observer reported receiving a
leaked "memorandum written by an official at the National Security
Agency (NSA), the US body which intercepts communications around the
world, and circulated to senior agents in his organization and to a
friendly foreign intelligence agency [probably British intelligence]."
The leak described phone taps "particularly directed at ... UN Security
Council members," presumably to provide the US intelligence on the
voting intentions of Security Council members on the current resolution
on Iraq. The memorandum specifically mentioned targeting Angola,
Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan at their UN headquarter
offices in New York. Naturally, Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer refused to
comment, saying, "The administration never comments on anything
involving any people involved in intelligence.The administration does
not answer questions of that nature." Of course. The administration
never comments on anything embarrassing for which it has no suitable

Third, the constant appeals by Bush to the UN requesting it take action
to enforce its resolutions serves to enhance the view, in American
minds, that the UN is the sole arbiter of force in world conflict, and
undermines the US constitutional duty to retain war powers within its
own sphere of sovereignty.

Fourth, the Bush team has been successfully antagonizing the rest of the
world and enhancing its bullying image by insisting on a course of
offensive action against Iraq. This image will become firmly cemented in
the minds of most of the world when the US defies the will of the
Security Council and finally attacks Iraq unilaterally (with its token
entourage of yes-men leaders like PM Tony Blair). This is all the more
true now that Iraq has played the masterful stroke of actually
destroying nine al Samoud-2 ballistic missiles within the past week,
totally under UN supervision.

The fact that actual disarmament has started up again has greatly
weakened the US case that Saddam was only stalling and refusing to
disarm. While few believe these recent actions represent a full
disarmament for Iraq, they are a good start, and such developments
bolster the belief that allowing more time for inspections and
compliance would be useful. The US has at this point been forced to
consider withdrawing its second resolution before the Security Council,
rather than face an embarrassing defeat. Bush said last night that he
would try for a few more days to persuade the Security Council and then
the US would act on its own. The US and Britain are toying with one last
face saving tactic-calling for a (ludicrously short) 72-hour final
compliance grace period for Saddam to come into full compliance, to be
followed by an immediate authorization of the use of force if compliance
conditions are not met. Since this suggestion has only hardened the
opposition camp, eliciting warnings of use of the veto power from
Russia, China, and France, the US may simply abandon any more attempts
to gain a majority vote of approval on the council. I still think, given
the level of US coercion, bribery, and pressure, that a 9-vote majority
is achievable. But a veto in reaction to the resolution would probably
damage US prestige even more than backing down from the second

[Emphasis added]