Friday's WAR COSTS! WHO PAYS? WHO PROFITS? demonstration in downtown Tacoma marking the 7th anniversary of the Iraq was briefly noticed Thursday afternoon on the "Word on the Street" blog of the News Tribune (Tacoma, WA).[1]  --  We hope to see you there!  --  The event is co-sponsored by United for Peace of Pierce County, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Veterans for Peace-Chapter 134, and plans for the event were finalized at Thursday evening's UFPPC meeting.  --  Good people of Pierce County!  --  Step outside the complicitous spiral of silence about the war(s) enabled on an hourly basis by corporate-controlled media!  --  You know the Iraq war was no "mistake" based on good intentions!  --  Last week we heard someone on NPR blithely say that before the war "we all thought" Iraq had WMDs.  --  What a joke!  --  We never believed it, and several thousand were in the streets here in Tacoma on Feb. 15, 2003, before the war started, to show that they didn't believe it either!  --  Today the mainstream media is silent or solemnly frets over the 21st-century equivalent of the white man's burden, but refreshing restatements of the truth about the war are appearing here and there in conjunction with the anniversary of the war.  --  A particularly good one was printed in the student paper of Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday.[2]  --  "[W]hy are we still so incapable of admitting that former President George W. Bush purposely drove the U.S. to war with Iraq solely for profiteering?" asked Cort Tafoya.  ""[I]t was all a lie.  Now it’s just a matter of when we’re going to admit it as a nation."  --  WAR COSTS!  WHO PAYS?  WHO PROFITS? --  See you at the Federal Building on Friday at 4:00 p.m., or later, at 5:30 p.m., at the Pacific I-5 overpass! ...


Word on the Street


By Kris Sherman

News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
March 18, 2010

A trio of anti-war groups is sponsoring a rally at the U.S. Courthouse in Tacoma and demonstration on Interstate-5 overpasses Friday afternoon to mark the seventh anniversary of the Iraq War.

"War Costs. Who Pays? Who Profits?" is the theme of the event, sponsored by United for Peace of Pierce County, Iraq Veterans Against War and Veterans for Peace, Chapter 134, according to a news release.

The rally is set at 4:00 p.m. in front of the courthouse, 1717 Pacific Ave.  A march to the I-5 overpasses at Pacific and McKinley avenues and demonstration is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The event is open to the public.


By Cort Tafoya

Daily Titan
(Fullerton, CA)
March 17, 2010

On the impending seventh anniversary of the war in Iraq, the truth that our government caused the deaths of roughly 100,000 civilians and 4,400 United States soldiers in an abominable quagmire for oil is utterly and immorally silent.

As if to excuse ourselves, we call the invasion of Iraq a “mistake,” say that our war on terror “went off course” or argue that the intelligence used to justify the occupation happened to be “faulty.”

But in a world where Wall Street banks perpetrate fraud to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars; health insurance companies abandon their promise of coverage to customers the minute they become deathly ill; U.S. presidential elections are blatantly stolen by a hyper-partisan Supreme Court and democracy in the “land of the free” is narrowed down to a choice between two parties bought and owned by corporations, why are we still so incapable of admitting that former President George W. Bush purposely drove the U.S. to war with Iraq solely for profiteering?

Yes, it can happen here.  In fact, it is a truth no longer debatable.

While this nation’s constitution speaks gracefully and powerfully about the natural rights of man, the Iraqi constitution speaks of crude oil -- referred to in Article 26, which reads that the government shall “insure the full investment of its resources, diversification of its sources, and the encouragement and development of the private sector.”

In layman’s terms, the nationalization of the country’s oil under Saddam Hussein would be outlawed.  Taking its place would be crony-capitalism and corporatism dominated by Western oil conglomerates.

Of this particular constitutional article and a parallel law passed by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, the Global Policy Forum (GPF), a United Nations policy watchdog, wrote that, “Placed in context, it can be seen as laying the ground for radical change in Iraq’s oil industry, which will be unique among the major oil producers of the Middle East . . . Contracts will be signed with foreign oil companies during the first nine months of 2006, opening the majority of Iraq’s oilfields to Western companies for the first time in 33 years.”

For Bush and his people, removing Hussein was like cracking open a 10-trillion-dollar petroleum treasure chest that had proved unconquerable for decades.

The GPF went on to describe the economic impact the U.S. invasion would have for lucky oil companies, saying, “In the new setting, with Washington running the show, ‘friendly’ companies expect to gain most of the lucrative oil deals that will be worth hundreds of billions of dollars in profits in the coming decades.”

With help from corporate media, the Bush administration purposely created a panicky post-9/11 U.S., spewed reckless weapons of mass desruction hype and flagrantly untruthful Iraq/Al-Qaeda connections all so they could muster up support for war.  But they made it a point to keep a riveting truth under wraps:  The removal of Saddam Hussein would give way to arguably the most profitable economic opportunity in the history of the world.

Set aside the confusing, ever-changing rationale for our invasion, and remember what Academy Award winner Jack Nicholson said in the 1990 mystery thriller, “The Two Jakes”: “You can follow the action, which gets you good pictures.  You can follow your instincts, which will probably get you in trouble.  Or you can follow the money, which nine times out of 10 will get you closer to the truth.”

This ugly truth about oil and money is out there.  You just have to find it.  A number of high-ranking officials and leaked documents have detailed for years the Bush administration’s infatuation with Iraq and its oil pre-9/11, proving without a shadow of doubt our invasion had nothing to do with Bush’s radical thesis that if the U.S. could only spread democracy throughout the Middle East, Islamic terrorists would disappear or that magically, the world had “changed” after 9/11.

Back in 2002, a court order forced the U.S. Commerce Department to release documents concerning the activities of then-Vice President Dick Cheney as well as his energy team, which unsurprisingly was made up of leaders from the oil industry.  The documents revealed that eight months before 9/11 this task force created maps of Iraq’s oil fields, terminals, refineries and pipelines, as well as a list of foreign suitors who would likely be interested in oilfield contracts.

“From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go.  From the very first instance, it was about Iraq.  It was about what we can do to change this regime,” Paul O’Neil, treasury secretary from 2001-2003, said of Bush’s first term.

Former counter-terrorism adviser to the National Security Council, Richard A. Clarke, reiterated these same sentiments when he wrote about his day at work the afternoon of the 9/11 attacks.

“Secretary (of Defense Donald) Rumsfeld complained that there were no decent targets for bombing in Afghanistan and that we should consider bombing Iraq . . . At first I thought Rumsfeld was joking.  But he was serious and the President did not reject out of hand the idea of attacking Iraq.  Instead, he noted that what we needed to do with Iraq was to change the government, not just hit it with more cruise missiles,” Clarke wrote.

The regime change Bush desperately wanted had everything to do with the country’s oil.  In *The Way of the World*, a book written by Ron Suskind, it was revealed that Falah Al Jibury, an Iraqi-American oil consultant, began working with the Bush administration immediately after the 2000 presidential election, helping them to map out Iraq post-Saddam.

It is also an irrefutable certainty that oil industry executives were inexplicably made aware of an impending war with Iraq that not even the families of military men and women were told would occur.  Jan. 16, 2003, two months before the invasion, the Wall Street Journal reported, “Executives of U.S. oil companies are conferring with officials from the White House, the Department of Defense, and the State Department to figure out how best to jump-start Iraq’s oil industry following a war.”

The heartlessness of those in power during the build up of the war cannot be more evident than in stories like these.

Rarely would I advise listening to a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, but even Alan Greenspan, a Bush crony and connected Washington elite, recently wrote about America’s motive for invading Iraq in his memoir, admitting, “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows:  the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

Candor like this from high-ranking officials in government has to be expressed more frequently if this country is ever going to be honest about why we are in Iraq.

Whether it was imaginary weapons of mass destruction, “freeing” Iraq’s people or preventing the country from becoming a haven for al-Qaeda, the Bush administration never ran out of ways to justify the war.

But it was all a lie.  Now it’s just a matter of when we’re going to admit it as a nation.