News Release - Sunday, January 19, 2003

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'Moral Clarity' Demands Opposition to Bush's War Plans.


Sunday, January 19, 2003

Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, 
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, 

Waiting for the next 'Gulf of Tonkin': Greens call the White House's stated reasons for invading Iraq a litany of deception and PR propaganda.

Greens at a peace rally in Washington, D.C. on January 18th.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As Bush begins sending 250,000 American troops to the Gulf region, Greens are challenging the daily deceptions from the Bush Administration on why it's necessary to invade Iraq. Greens have accused President Bush of feeding the American people a massive diet of misinformation, especially the warning that Iraq poses an imminent threat to the U.S. 

In early January, Bush said "An attack from Saddam Hussein or a surrogate of Saddam Hussein would cripple our economy.... Our economy is strong, it's resilient, we've got to continue to make it strong and resilient. This economy cannot afford to stand an attack." Greens, who are preparing for this weekend's antiwar rallies in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and other cities, have called such statements a dishonest appeal to legitimate concerns about security in the wake of September 11.

"Americans should be wary that the White House will concoct a ' Gulf of Tonkin' incident, by using any new terrorist incident, as a pretext and justification for an attack on Iraq," said Ben Manski, a Wisconsin Green and member of the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States. "The Bush Administration mirrored Saddam Hussein's own dishonesty when it censored the parts of the 12,000-page Iraq report that revealed the Western corporations that supplied various weapons, especially biochemical supplies." 

The White House and the Pentagon have relied on public relations experts such as Victoria Clarke, formerly of Hill & Knowlton, and the Rendon Group to steer public opinion in favor of an invasion. 

Greens cite a litany of lies and manipulation from the Bush Administration on the need for war:

BUSH: Iraq is a threat to the U.S.

Although clearly a dictator who continues to inflict death and suffering on the people of Iraq, Saddam Hussein has done nothing to provoke an invasion, is neither a proven threat to U.S. security or to the borders of any nation in Middle East region, and commands a weak military force. The White House has offered no plausible evidence that Saddam has any means of delivering shortrange warheads, nerve gas, and other biochemical weapons, even if he still possesses them. 

"The desire to change the regime of another nation is not a valid justification for invasion -- there is no right to wage 'preemptive' war," said J. Roy Cannon, chair of the Peace Committee of the Green Party of Delaware. "An invasion by the U.S. would violate international laws, the U.N. charter, the Monroe Doctrine of U.S. military action as a defensive last resort, and the U.S. Constitution's restriction of the use of U.S. armed forces to the defense of our borders. It's clear that the U.S. is determined not to accept the results of the U.N. inspections.

Approximately 30,000 people attended the MLK Day peace rally in Denver, CO.

BUSH: Saddam Hussein is in league with Al Qaeda.

The White House has never shown credible proof of any connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, despite Bush's constant insistence of evidence gathered through intelligence.

BUSH: This is not about oil.

The Bush Administration's intention to seize control of Iraqi oil resources has been acknowledged by many of supporters of Bush's war plans. Invasion supporter Sen. Pete Domenici (Rep.-NM), speaking in a moment of candor, said "that the administration's Iraq policies were based, essentially, on Israel and oil." (ABC News, January 10, 2003). Jack Straw, U.K. Foreign Secretary, acknowledged in a speech to British ambassadors that oil is the main motivation for Blair's support for Bush's war, much more so than any threat of WMDs; the Blair government is concerned about global energy supplies, especially oil imports, during the coming years.

The most outspoken war-for-oil proponent is Richard Perle, chair of the Defense Policy Board, a Pentagon advisory group. Perle's Rand Corporation report briefing submitted in July, 2002, recommends invading Iraq as a first step in gaining U.S. control over oil throughout the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia (Boston Globe, September 10, 2002). 

Contrary to the White House's claim that oil revenues from Iraq after the invasion should benefit the Iraqi people, Newsday reported that administration officials plan to use oil money to pay for the expenses of the U.S. postwar occupation of Iraq, which is expected to cost from $12 billion to $48 billion a year (January 10, 2003). Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia; other Arab and Muslim nations would recognize the appropriated Iraqi oil money as proof of the U.S.'s colonial motivation for the invasion.

BUSH: Invasion of Iraq is justified by our 'Moral Clarity' against a member of the 'Axis of Evil.'

The White House's rhetoric about moral clarity is a mask for the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld doctrine: preemptive invasion to ensure U.S. interests; first-strike use of nuclear weapons; unilateral military action; withdrawal from or rejection of international treaties and agreements; and increased surveillance and erosion of Constitutional rights at home.

"This is not what a democracy looks like and acts like," said Jake Schneider, treasurer of the Green Party of the United States. "This is how empires operate."

BUSH: We're doing this to help the Iraqi people.

The U.S.'s 'precision' warfare will kill thousands, possible tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Most of the American casualties in the invasion itself will probably come from friendly fire. The U.N. predicts a humanitarian disaster, with up to a half million injuries during the early stages of the war.

BUSH: We don't want to go to war.

In November, Richard Perle assured British members of Parliament that the invasion is inevitable, even if the U.N. inspection team doesn't find evidence of nuclear and biochemical weapons. Bush Administration officials favored an invasion of Iraq even before September 11, 2001, according to policy blueprints such as "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century," drafted in September 2000 by the think tank Project for the New American Century for the future Bush cabinet. 

"This will not be a simple invasion, regime change, and occupation," said Mark Dunlea, Chair of the Green Party of New York State. "Expect numerous international consequences from the invasion: strikes from Iraq against Israel, which possesses nuclear weapons that Sharon might use in retaliation; regional destabilization could set off a military exchange between India and Pakistan; a surge in terrorism against the West. The consequences of war are always unpredictable."

Greens have called for peace-based measures to end conflicts in the Middle East: ending the economic sanctions and help rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, especially provision of food, water, and medical supplies; imposing sanctions against selling weapons to Iraq and all other belligerent nations, including Israel; ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and dismantling the settlements.

The U.S., say Greens, must work with other nations to eliminate all nuclear and biochemical weapons from the Middle East and to reduce dependence on fossil fuels drastically; if apprehension and prosecution of Saddam Hussein is necessary, in the unlikely event that he launches a suicidal attack on any nation, they must be accomplished through international channels, with full international support.


The Green Party of the United States 
National office: 1314 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN

United For Peace 

Green Party of the United States Statement in
Opposition to U.S. Plans to Invade Iraq 

"What This War Is Not About ", by Rick Salutin
Globe & Mail (Canada), January 3, 2002 

\"War Is Sell", by Laura Miller
PR Watch, Volume 9, No. 4 

"Letter from Washington -- The Next World Order: The Bush Administration may have a brand-new doctrine of power", by Nicholas Lemann
The New Yorker, April 1, 2001

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