“Why war on Iraq?” “I don’t know.”

General Wesley Clark is a retired four-star US general. He was the “Supreme Allied Commander” of NATO, when NATO was at war in Kosovo.

On March 2 this year, he gave an interview to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, a radio programme which airs on “over 450 stations in North America”.

He has some very interesting, though no longer surprising, comments to make about the US motivation for making war on Iraq.

About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

About David

I am an environmental writer, journalist and speaker living in Cape Town, South Africa.
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3 Responses to “Why war on Iraq?” “I don’t know.”

  1. Stef says:

    If a country perpetrates and act of war against another the retaliators do not declare war on War. So, given that list in the memo it sounds like the “War on Terrorism”is a misnomer. It is actually a War on Islam but no-one wants to admit that, of course.

  2. brian murphy says:

    What You Ought To Know:

    Well, maybe we as citizens of the world’s greatest democracy, have from time to time, believed that we get to know all the things we ought to know. And to prove this, we have “Freedom of Speech” and if that isn’t enough for the sniveling do-gooders and liberals, there’s always “Freedom of the Press.”

    Just take a look at the New York Times running the wildest and spookiest load of disinformation since “Mad Magazine.”

    Don’t we get all we ought to know from media outlets such as the “New York Times?” Well we certainly get what the leader’s of this country feel we ought to know. Sometimes it seems as if Dick Cheney runs the “New York Times.”

    He quotes them frequently, possibly as frequently as they quote him. Sometimes the synchronicity is amazing. So they must be telling the truth. They have categorically ignored breaking news from award-winning investigative journalists such as Greg Palast because they obviously feel that the truth is not always what America should know. You know?

    Rush Limbough also turns to the New York Times when he needs collaboration on disinformation, and he’s listened to and adored by millions. If any of his listeners can’t read, they have the benefit of Rush disseminating half-truths, straight-up nonsense, propaganda and basically everything this corrupt government feels America should know and believe. He proudly shares his micro-phone with some of the most honest people in the Universe – all who vilify what he calls “The Drive-By Media,” what ever that is.

    When the Washington Post reported that there had finally arisen amongst those in the know, a general consensus that prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there was absolutely no evidence of al-Qaeda’s presence there, not in word nor body and soul, yet the very next day, on the Rush Limbough show, Dick Cheney could be heard reassuring all of Rush’s listeners that al-Qaeda was right there alongside Saddam Hussein. Could our vice-president be delirious?

    Americans ought to know plenty. There are scores upon scores of people and agencies, including the highest in the land, who work very hard deciding what we get to know.

    Several months back, a book was released to critical acclaim. It seemed that America was starting to get to know government secrets, much as one would expect in this land of the free, in this great democracy where we all cherish such liberties as “Free Speech” and “Freedom of the Press.”

    This book, entitled, “Legacy of Ashes” by Tim Wiener, seemed to break all the rules. It revealed the bleakest moments of our nation’s most sacrosanct, secretive government institution – the CIA.

    Timing was everything. It seemed as if Americans were feeling more and more as if they really should know what the hell is really going on behind closed doors – it seemed with the Iraq conflict spiraling out of control, there was just too much about the secret machinations of our government that we knew next to nothing about.

    It was about time that we started to at least get a glimpse of what happens when the president calls on these avengers – these crusaders for liberty. Yes, it seemed as if finally, here was a courageous American, risking perhaps his very life, to bring us all an inside look at the spooks who have so much to do with foreign and even perhaps domestic policy.

    Much was made of this expose and even I fell for the fanfare – thinking that it was amazing how this guy was able to get away with publishing such damning evidence. That was before I actually read the book. Trick, I fell for it. I was driven by a thirst for knowledge – to maybe get to find out some of the things I ought to know.

    Ten’s of thousand Americans sat riveted, reading this no holds barred expose of the CIA, while journalists like Greg Palast were reporting daily, scoop after scoop unveiling the corruption and greed, the total disregard for humanity and for national and international law that our fearless leaders have been flaunting since they stole the White House.

    After I finished the book, I threw it down and could be heard blocks away screaming, “What crap. The ole craparoo!”

    This guy, Wiener, he wasn’t telling us anything, at least nothing that we didn’t already know or could find out easily. He had pulled the “ole craparoo.” Of course he did. He’s been working for the “New York Times” for the last twenty years as their main man on the intelligence beat. He’s their shill.

    His book, was a carefully orchestrated disinformation coup. It gave off the appearance that the CIA had become this weak and ineffectual agency with hardly a secret worth whispering. Why? Because they are? Get the fuck out of here. It’s because they want Americans to believe they are so they can continue playing empire builder and paving the way for big business – the scary monsters who needed this war in Iraq to spiral out of control.

    And while maybe millions of Americans read crap like this, they are deterred from reading true and vital journalism from what Rush Limbough derisively calls, “The Drive-By Media.”

    Trick? America fall’s for them daily. And guys like Tim Wiener get a little richer. The CIA laughs off the acceptable egg on their face, and hard questions remain unanswered. As long as America gets to know things they believe the government doesn’t want them to know, they’re happy. They get complacent, even with their suspicions. They are completely blind. By believing that they’ve just been given this mother load of truth – they buy into a larger load of bullshit.

    Jim Morrison once wailed, “True sailing is dead.” This is not unlike Wiener’s lament in “Legacy of Ashes” that this super-secretive and vengeful arm of our government doesn’t have the wither-all to mount even one successful intelligence operation. This has got to have the CIA bigs all chuckling. They are bigger and badder than ever. So it suits them just fine to have America believe that they are all washed up. Ashes.

    Just as long as America never really gets to know what they ought to know.

  3. Pingback: The Meaning of Torture | Wombat Diet

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