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International Noise Conspiracy
Z Papers On Strategy
Dan La Botz
Mark t. Harris
Rank & File
Top Lies About Iraq
Gay & Lesbian Community Notes
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Top Lies About Iraq from the Bush Administration
(1) Iraq was a “grave and gathering threat”
After years of pre-invasion propaganda about the threat from Iraq as “imminent,” “immediate,” “urgent,” “serious,” “real,” and “dangerous,” the Administration fell into line with the studied message of “grave and gathering.” It was not. Crippled by 10 years of sanctions, Iraq had one of the weakest militaries and economies in the region when the U.S. attacked them. Iraq had not planned, threatened, or even been capable of any serious attack on the United States or its allies outside of its own borders. Confirmed post-invasion, this view was also supported by numerous pre-war reports by our government, our allies, and private think tanks, all ignored or down-played by the Administration and its friends in corporate media. Bush created a special propaganda team to invent justifications for invading Iraq (Office of Special Plans), but “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” of invading Iraq no matter what, according to official documents of our closest ally, the British.
(2) Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” programs after the early 1990s
This lie still has legs in Fox News-land, but has suffered a serious blow with the publication of the government’s official post-invasion investigation (Kay/Duelfer report). It was also asserted to be false or highly unlikely pre-invasion by a high ranking Iraqi defector, official weapons inspectors, and (again) numerous pre-war investigations from diverse knowledgeable sources, even from the CIA. Bush continued this lie for a while after the invasion nevertheless, falsely asserting on May 29, 2003 that we had “found the weapons of mass destruction.” “Niger uranium,” “enrichment tubes,” “mobile weapons labs,” leading to “mushroom clouds over American cities” -- years of lies have now been completely discredited.
Related to this, “Saddam threw out the weapons inspectors” is still bandied about despite the fact that we “withdrew” inspectors (twice) so we could bomb Iraq, even after inspectors reported that Iraq was “fundamentally disarmed.” No evidence was ever found of a continuation of the WMD programs (that we had helped Iraq build up in the 1980s) after the 1991 Gulf War and the UN-mandated disarmament program. Nevertheless, some of the weapons that had been secured by inspectors in the early 1990s, and untouched by the Iraqi government since, were left unguarded by “coalition troops” after the invasion and were then stolen by parties unknown -- showing our real concern over this false pretense.
(3) Iraq had “ties to Al Qaeda” and 9/11
Once believed by a majority of Americans -- due to years propaganda, general ignorance, and nationalist war hysteria -- this absurdity ignored Bin Laden’s stated disdain (“apostate,” “infidel”) for Saddam Hussein and the secular Iraqi government and the complete lack of verifiable evidence for any connection. Most associated with Cheney (“over-whelming evidence there was a connection”), this lie was also put in play by Bush, Powell, and others, usually by strong but non-definitive terms for the “sinister nexus,” like “harboring,” “dealing with,” and “aids and protects.” In fact, the “terrorist training camps” referred to pre-invasion by Bush and Powell were in U.S.-protected Kurdish areas of northern Iraq where “Saddam” was forbidden to intervene, were led by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi who had fought on the U.S. side in the 1980s against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and were allowed to operate without U.S. harassment for years (the Bush White House even vetoing three different Pentagon plans to take them out) until well past the initial stage of the 2003 U.S. invasion.
(4) Our invasion of Iraq was to support “Security Council resolutions”
Bush claimed that he was invading Iraq to enforce UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and that the UN’s reluctance to endorse his invasion risked making the institution “irrelevant.” Besides the contrary logic of “do what we want or you’re irrelevant,” the charge that Iraq was then violating resolutions on WMD was dubious, if not completely false. Likewise, the charge that resolutions were violated by Iraq’s firing on U.S.-British planes over the “no-fly zones” (aircraft that regularly killed civilians throughout the previous decade) was also false and was rebuffed by the UN’s secretary-general and members of the Security Council.
Powell’s and Bush’s presentations of detailed lies to the UN failed to convince the UNSC that invading Iraq was justified (despite U.S. bribes, arm twisting, and spying on delegations to the UNSC), a lack of approval which made our subsequent invasion explicitly illegal under the UN Charter, under international law as agreed to by the U.S. through treaty (and hence also illegal under U.S. law), and under war crimes conventions that describe such aggressive war as the “supreme crime.” Finally, dozens of UNSC resolutions have been and continue to be violated, many by U.S. allies such as Israel and Turkey, but the lawful decision of enforcing them with military attack is not left to individual states, but the UNSC.
(5) Our invasion of Iraq was to “promote democracy”
The “supporting democracy” argument achieved primacy after the WMD and Al Qaeda-link lies were exposed, but are belied by post-invasion history. It took blackmail to force us into even planning elections in a somewhat timely manner. Occupation “administrator” Bremer had initially promised only U.S.-appointed councils, and then elections in some indefinite form two-to-five years or so down the road. However, during massive Shiite uprisings and pro-democracy demonstrations in late 2003 and early 2004, Iraq’s Ayatollah Ali Sistani insisted on holding elections sooner. Facing full-scale rebellion, Bremer reluctantly agreed. Nevertheless, the U.S. “authority” imposed long-reaching undemocratic edicts allowing foreign ownership over Iraq’s assets.
Also ignored, elections held after an illegal invasion under occupation by a hostile foreign military are generally not considered legitimate under international law and convention, and were of questionable value in Iraq due to violence, intimidation, and unrepresented groups of voters in several provinces. Finally, though most Iraqis -- even the newly elected Green Zone government -- and a majority of Americans want the U.S. to leave, the Administration has so far refused.
(6) It is better to “fight them there” than on our streets
This is perhaps the most common lie today -- that somehow the Iraq invasion and occupation (even if illegal and based on lies) is making the U.S. population at home “safer.” Bush and friends have repeatedly made this claim, even asking the enemy to “bring it on” over there.
First, there are the assumptions “them” and “there.” The 9/11-perpetrating Al Qaeda organization (“them”) was not in Iraq when the U.S. invaded (except in small numbers at the aforementioned Bush-protected camps). The few thousand or so Al Qaeda trained operatives who were thought to have remained active members were scattered around the world, but were based in Afghanistan. The U.S.’s response “there” deployed limited numbers of troops in favor of a massive and “long planned” (O’Neill, Clarke, Woodward, etc.) invasion of Iraq, which has now become the new “there.”
Second, how well are we now fighting “them” in this new “there?” According to such terrorist sympathizers as the U.S. Army War College, the Iraq invasion was an “unnecessary” “distraction” from the “war on terror.” It is worse than that, however. Our internationally condemned Iraq invasion has increased the number of independent groups emulating Al Qaeda and even taking their name, such as Al Qaeda in Iraq, which has gained skills and become ideologically wedded to the idea of fighting the United States in a war without borders or rules. Some of “them” are now no longer even “there.” According to a UN report in March “senior fighters have left Iraq to gather existing supporters and these fresh recruits into new cells” around the world.
Third, is fighting “them there” really making the U.S. safer at home? Terrorist attacks against Western targets have risen dramatically every year since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Attacks linked to the invasion are also occurring with greater frequency outside of Iraq, as seen in major attacks in Jordan, Spain, and Great Britain, among other countries. Though the U.S. has yet to suffer another 9/11-type event, one would have to be willfully blind not to see the confluence of troubles described above -- coupled with continued incompetence, corruption, and overreaching against domestic “peace activists” at home by “Homeland Security” amid rising budgetary deficits -- as making us “safer” in the long term. Taking a discretionary fight to their streets, without “just cause,” is an obvious prelude to at least some of them bringing it back to ours.
(7) If the lies were true, then we would have been justified in invading Iraq
This is the premise underlying all discussions in the U.S. about Iraq. However, the only “legal war” between nation-states is one of self-defense against an actual invasion or attack (or, in some cases, a narrowly defined “imminent” attack). The use of ongoing military force (beyond immediate defensive purposes) in order to be lawful needs to be approved by the United Nations Security Council. This system is not arbitrary or whimsical. It is based on the unprecedented horrors of all-out warfare in the 20th century, and was devised as the best possible plan to try to prevent large scale wars from breaking out in the future. It was promoted by the U.S. government and incorporated into U.S. law through treaty after WWII.
WMD, a “gathering” threat, dictatorship -- none of this would make an attack by one country on another legal or moral (see also “just war” theory), and such precepts if universally adopted would result in world conflagration. Even if Iraq had ties to the 9/11 attacks (which they did not), the only lawful use of force by the U.S. in response would have been defensive, to prevent another imminent attack. The legal recourse for the previous attack would have been through the World Court, which could have referred the matter to the UN Security Council for lawful military action. Without such a system, for example, Nicaragua, Panama, Serbia, and scores of other countries could be justified in attacking the U.S. in the future in retribution for U.S. attacks on them in the past.
That such an institution of legal structures designed to prevent world war (even though biased towards dominant powers like the U.S.) is the source of widespread scorn in the U..S, especially among its elite opinion-makers and power-holders, is an astounding admission and frightening to the rest of the world, where opinion polls now show the U.S. (with “pre-emptive war” as official policy) is viewed as the greatest threat to peace on the planet.
List by Andy Dunn, compiled from sources at www.bushlies.net, www.whodies.com, and www.tvnewslies.org. More sources here .
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.