The War In Iraq
The official line regarding the war in Iraq was that Saddam Hussein
a) had weapons of mass destruction
b) intended to use those weapons of mass destruction against American targets
c) had direct ties to Al Qaeda, and was at least in part, responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers, on September 11, 2001.
All three of these reasons have proved utterly false. If these reasons for the war aren’t valid (and at this point, it’s blindingly clear that they are not), then it begs the question, why the heck did we go there?
The answer has nothing to do with elaborate, convoluted conspiracy theories. It is, in fact, quite simple. It’s just a matter of following the money. Michael Moore’s film, “Fahrenheit 9/11” gets a few things wrong, and sometimes portrays certain facts out of context, but the major points that it gets absolutely right are the money trail and the culture of fear. These two elements, taken together, paint a compelling and stark picture about the true reasons behind the war.
It Starts With The Saudis
The money trail starts with the Saudis. The reality is that the Saudi Royal Family owns and controls some 7% of the total assets of the United States. That’s significant. If the Saudis were to suddenly withdraw their economic support of the nation, they could singlehandedly plunge the nation into a deep recession. Thus, it would definitely run counter to US interests to provoke the Saudis into suddenly removing their economic support of the nation. This is true, EVEN IF the Saudis may have had a direct hand in, or played an active role in the attack. We don’t know for certain if they did, but we do know that fifteen of the nineteen young men on the air liners that day were from Saudi Arabia. We also know that Saudi Arabia has a history of supporting terrorist organizations that spans decades. That’s troubling indeed, but it gets worse. The Bush family actually has close personal ties to the Saudi Royals, who have invested more than a billion dollars in the Bushes and their friends. Money talks, and the Bush Administration was extremely unlikely to bite the hand that literally feeds it.
We see a striking example of this when we look at the fact that we know that several members of the Bin Laden family (the Bin Ladens are themselves, Saudis) were actually in the United States on September 11, and that when the nation’s air traffic ground to a complete halt, special dispensation was given to the Bin Laden family, all of whom were allowed to leave the country without ever having been questioned by the authorities.
Culture of Fear
The section above outlines why the Saudis had to be considered “off limits” in terms of the US response to 9/11, but clearly, after such an attack, the US HAD TO respond. There was just no other choice. The problem was, we couldn’t lash out against the people actually responsible.
Saddam Hussein was the logical choice as the fall guy, because of the bad blood (and previous invasion of Iraq) between the Bush family and Hussein. There were scores to settle on that front, and, in Bush Jr.’s mind, unfinished business, but of course, before such an attack could take place, the citizens of the US had to be primed to accept that course of action.
To accomplish this, the Bush Administration built a culture of fear, using their color coded terror alerts to keep the anxiety level of ordinary Americans high, all the while ginning up phony “intelligence reports” regarding Iraq’s ability to project their power, and their “arsenal” of WMD’s (none of which were ever actually found – because they didn’t have any!) This set the stage for the war, but of course, having a pretext is only half of the equation. After all, what good is a war unless you and your buddies can make a ton of money from it, right?