Leaked memos show Iraq War conspiracy
Popular resistance wears down ‘coalition of willing’
Published Jun 22, 2005 10:35 PM
The shock-and-awe invasion of Iraq was not a
“war of last resort.” The “regime change” had nothing to
do weapons of mass destruction [WMD] or “terrorism” or defense of
neighboring countries or nuclear capability.
The cat’s out of the
bag now. All that was just a pretext created by U.S. and British imperialism.
Many in the anti-war movement who raised their voices to demand “No
blood for oil profits!” said it all along. But this time it’s coming
from the same people who had claimed the movement was a bunch of conspiracy
Eight classified memos have now been leaked, mostly to the
British media, that show otherwise.
They come at a time when Britain is
also mired in the Pentagon’s war. The occupation forces can’t even
keep a six-mile stretch of road open between Baghdad and the airport.
Popular anger in the U.S. is mounting along with the rise in troop
casualties. A Gallup poll conducted June 6-8 revealed that 6 out of 10 of those
asked wanted a partial or full withdrawal of GIs from Iraq. Only 41 percent
approved of the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War. A majority
said they’d be upset if the president tried to send more
Eight smoking guns
The eight memos released in recent
weeks, stamped “secret” or “confidential,” reveal the
* Six months after the 9/11 attacks, then-U.S. National
Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice met with British Prime Minister Tony
Blair’s chief foreign policy adviser, David Manning. According to Manning,
Rice didn’t want to talk about Osama bin Laden or Al-Qaeda, she wanted to
press “regime change” in Iraq.
* Attorneys warned the Blair
government that U.S.-British bombing of Iraq almost a year before the
imperialist invasion—designed to provoke the Iraqi government into an
action that would justify the invasion—was illegal, a violation of
* The “Downing Street memo,” perhaps the
most damning of all, contains the transcript of official minutes of a July 23,
2002, meeting between Blair, his top advisers and Richard Dearlove—head of
the British spy agency MI6. At that sit-down—eight months prior to the
invasion of Iraq—Dearlove explained that Washington officials had made
clear at a recent meeting that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through
military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the
intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
British Foreign Office Political Director Peter Ricketts wrote to Foreign
Secretary Jack Straw in a March 22 memo of the importance of winning popular and
parliamentary support for a war against Iraq. “We have to be convincing
that: the threat is so serious/imminent that it is worth sending our troops to
die for ... .” The Blair government then released a pre-war intelligence
report claiming that the Iraqi government could launch a chemical or biological
weapons attack on 45 minutes’ notice.
These secret papers found
their way to British journalist Michael Smith and have been circulated on the
Internet. Although U.S. and British officials have nit-picked some details, they
have not challenged their authenticity.
The documents confirm what Marx
explained so clearly and distinctly about capitalist bosses: If the rate of
profit is great enough, there is no crime they will not stoop to commit or pay
to have someone commit for them. The drive for imperialist super-profits makes
finance capital even more ruthless and adventurist.
It wasn’t revolutionaries who leaked these
documents—as happened with the 1916 Sykes-Picot treaty. That secret
agreement made during World War I carved up the Arabian peninsula between
England, France and Czarist Russia. A year later the U.S. intervened and
demanded its share.
But after the Bolsheviks seized state power in Russia
and established a workers’ state in 1917, they exposed this colonial
The eight secret memos released in recent weeks also
document imperialist wheeling and dealing to divvy up the spoils of occupation.
But they would never have seen the light of day if U.S. and British imperialism
had hit pay dirt in Iraq. These revelations reflect defeat and
The memo dated July 21, 2002—which briefed officials for a
meeting with Blair—stressed, “In particular we need to be sure that
the outcome of the military action would match our objective ... . A postwar
occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building
exercise. As already made clear, the U.S. military plans are virtually silent on
Following the recent exposure of the documents,
journalists John Barry and Mark Hosenball wrote: “The Brits held out hope
that they would play a larger role in rebuilding Iraq. Instead, they found
themselves marginalized, with top posts in Baghdad going to Bush loyalists
instead of British hands with years of field experience.” (Newsweek, June
The British imperialists, who once boasted that “the sun never
set” on their empire, find themselves in their twilight years, eclipsed by
U.S. imperialists who treat them like a junior partner. “Blair and his
team have largely hidden any discontent they may feel,” the two concluded.
“Yet, as the Iraqi insurgency intensifies, small cracks are beginning to
Costs of war, occupation
The massive financial
investment in the military invasion and occupation of Iraq is not paying off for
Wall Street or the Lon don Stock Exchange.
After priming the pump with at
least $7 billion in “reconstruction projects,” the oil and the
profits that come with it are still not flowing out of Iraq. “Most of the
cash goes to U.S. contractors who spend much of it on personal security,”
noted Rod Nordland. (Newsweek, June 13)
Widespread popular anger is
fueling the Iraqi resistance.
“Rage is rising among Iraqis facing
an official employment rate of 18 percent and infrastructure is
destroyed,” Nordland continued. “Basic services like electricity,
water and sewers still aren’t up to prewar levels. Electricity is
especially vital in a country where summer temperatures commonly reach 125
degrees Fahrenheit. Yet only 15 percent of Iraqis have reliable electrical
services. In the capital, where it counts most, it’s only 4
The revelations expose a falling out among thieves. Their
political costs are mounting, too.
Anti-war anger in Britain cost
Blair’s Labor Party 95 Parliament seats in the recent election.
President George W. Bush told two leaders of the European Union on June
20 that his strategy of crushing the Iraqi opposition “is going to
Bush maintained his “stay the course” position
during an East Room media conference with Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime
minister of Luxembourg and Euro pean Union president, and José Manuel Bar
roso, the European Com mission president.
Two years ago, the European
imperialists were deeply divided over Iraq and aired those differences. But now
the problems in the European Union have driven them to Washington on questions
Trouble on the home front
Bush and the neo-cons are
hunkered down in the White House, trying to defend their empire-building
strategies to broad groupings in the U.S. ruling class that are no longer so
confident that these are the right “guys” to get the job
The June 20 New York Times assessed, “Mr. Bush and his
administration now find themselves with little or no support from Democrats and
with a Republican Party that has proven reluctant to support him on a number of
Calls for Bush’s impeachment, muttered warnings of
war crimes trials, denounce ment of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo,
demands to set a deadline to pull troops out of Iraq—these domestic
“leaks” are hissing like steam from political fissures in both
parties of big business.
“Congress is like Wall Street—it
operates on fear and greed,” explained Allan J. Lichtman, a presidential
historian at American University in Washington. “The Democrats don’t
fear him anymore, and they’re getting greedy because they think they can
beat him. The attitude you see among Republicans in Congress is, my lifeboat
first.” (New York Times, June 20)
Congressional Black Caucus members
John Conyers and Maxine Waters, more in tune with mass sentiments, had spoken
out against the Iraq War earlier. They are suddenly finding wider support from
the Democratic and Republican elite. On June 16 Rep. Waters announced formation
of the “U.S. Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus,” with 41
Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee,
wrote a letter to the White House on May 5 demanding an explanation about the
revelations that the Bush administration manufactured the pretext for invasion
of Iraq. More than 100 other members of Con gress signed on. John Kerry and
Edward Kennedy have also “taken up the issue.”
circulated petitions demanding answers from the White House and got more than
The refusal of the Iraqi people to knuckle under to
Pentagon domination, and the building anger in the U.S. population against the
war for empire, have at last created cracks in the political establishment
These disclosures about the ruses for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq,
however, will go nowhere unless they are used to help build a broad and powerful
anti-war struggle based in the workers and oppressed who always suffer the most
in a war.
They also demonstrate that as U.S. finance capital finds it
harder to assert its economic will globally, the danger of its military
adventurism grows. What schemes are in the works now against Iran, Korea,
Venezuela and Cuba?
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