Day by Day

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The World Socialist Web Site sez:

The US Congress has given overwhelming bipartisan support to the Pentagon’s plans for a massive and sustained bombing attack on the civilian population of Iraq.
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This sentiment—for the dispatch of American ground troops to “take Saddam Hussein out” and occupy Baghdad—has definite support on both sides of the congressional aisle. House Democrat John Murtha of Pennsylvania complained that saturation bombing was not sufficient. “You have to put people on the ground if you really want to solve the problem.”
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The US media is bristling with predictions of “overwhelming force” and warnings that Americans must anticipate TV footage of dead and dying Iraqi men, women and children. Reporting from Baghdad, CNN’s Peter Arnett gave an indication of what the bombing of so-called presidential sites will mean. He explained that some of these sites cover huge areas, about the size of Washington DC.
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Iraq announced its willingness to allow special teams of UN inspectors to examine for an entire month the eight presidential sites previously named by the UN. But Washington does not want a diplomatic solution. It has opted for war, and its entire policy is calculated to provide a pretext for military action.

That is why the US counters every concession from Iraq with more sweeping demands for unlimited and indefinite access to Iraqi territory. It is not even clear what the US is demanding and what the bombing is supposed to accomplish. At one moment American spokesmen say the aim is to destroy existing biological and chemical weapons. At the next they declare Iraq must prove it has dismantled the capacity to build such weapons.

The US has failed to produce a shred of evidence that such weapons actually exist. Ending Iraq’s capacity to build them, on the other hand, means destroying the country’s economic and social infrastructure, since even a rudimentary level of industrial development provides the capacity to produce such weapons. In either case Washington is demanding that Iraq prove the nonexistence of something—a demand which by its very nature cannot be met.
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It is a fact that the world would not be standing on the brink of a major conflagration in the Middle East were it not for the machinations of the United States government. But America’s provocative posture in the gulf is by no means an aberration. It is indicative of a more general orientation. American capitalism has concluded that the chief lever for maintaining its economic dominance in the face of mounting challenges from international rivals is the supremacy of its military machine.
Not surprising, I know.

Except this is from 1998.

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