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Bush's different tune
Posted: Saturday, October 4, 2003 Editorial

ALTHOUGH his own inspectors have found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, US President George W Bush continues to justify his illegal invasion of Iraq by insisting that Saddam Hussein presented "a danger to the world." The fact is, however, Mr Bush is now singing a different tune and, although it amounts to an insult to the intelligence of impartial observers of White House antics, he seems, remarkably enough, to be getting away with it. Indeed, one is now forced into comparing the basic instincts of the British people and the British press where a sense of outrage against PM Tony Blair over the Iraqi episode is having free and unfettered expression and that of the American people who, generally speaking, seem quite prepared to view with equanimity Mr Bush's ridiculous acrobatics.

How can they so easily forget the reason given by their President and his White House lieutenants for the hasty unilateral invasion of Iraq? In their superpower arrogance they dismissed the opposition of almost the entire world to attack Iraq in order to destroy what they were certain was Hussein's stockpile of WMDs. This deadly arsenal, they claimed, presented a clear and imminent danger to the US and other countries since it was also quite likely that the Iraqi dictator would pass some of these weapons to West-hating terrorists. Secretary of State Colin Powell went to the Security Council and made an elaborate presentation of intelligence information which was designed to prove the existence of these weapons. Apart from the fact that after five months of occupation the US troops in Iraq have found no such weapons, we now have Bush's chief arms inspector David Kay reporting that his team had also drawn a blank in their search for WMDs. So what does the President do? He continues to brazen out the reason for his illegal, unjustified and destructive assault on Iraq by insisting that Hussein presented "a danger to the world."

It worries him not, nor does it appear to disturb the American people, that he is now compelled ignominiously to de-escalate his estimation of Saddam's alleged danger which was clearly not "imminent" and did not pose any immediate threat to the US or any other country a virtual admission that the pretext for his unheeding and precipitate onslaught on Iraq was totally false and misleading. Mr Bush, of course, would hardly want to admit to that admission. What many observers may now find puzzling is the apparent reluctance, refusal or fear of the American people and the country's Press to deal honestly with this act of gross deception perpetrated on them and the world by the President and his cabal of White House hawks. Indeed, not even the horrible fact that Mr Bush has placed their troops in harm's way, now as sitting ducks for guerrilla snipers and rocket grenaders, on the basis of a completely false intelligence assessment seems not to agitate them in any serious way. How far does the corrupting influence of absolute power go?

But if President Bush now finds it proper to justify his invasion of Iraq as a necessary means of dealing with Saddam's "imminent danger," however mythical, then he must also feel an even greater compulsion and a far more urgent need to unilaterally invade North Korea whose repressive regime has openly and defiantly declared its intention of manufacturing atomic weapons. Indeed, US intelligence analysts have indicated that North Korea might already have three, four or even six nuclear weapons instead of the one or two estimated by the CIA. The US President and his coterie of warmongers could hardly want a more serious danger than that.

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