Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Join Mailing List

Commentary Last Updated: Dec 11th, 2008 - 01:51:57

Come now, Bush, it was no mistake
By Linda S. Heard
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Dec 11, 2008, 00:19

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

George W. Bush has publicly experienced an �Oops! I made a mistake� moment. During an interview conducted at Camp David by ABC�s Charlie Gibson, the US president admitted that the flawed intelligence concerning Iraq�s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction was the �biggest regret of the presidency.� When he was asked whether he would have gone to war if he had known the truth he was coy. �This is a do-over that I can�t do,� he answered.

No doubt O.J. Simpson, who has recently been sentenced for forcibly trying to retrieve property that used to belong to him, knows how he feels. �I did not know that I was doing anything illegal,� he told the judge. �So I am sorry.� Sorry didn�t cut it for Simpson, who is facing up to 33 years jail time. Bush, whose mistake cost the lives of something like a million innocent souls, is likely to get off scot-free.

If Bush had made a genuine �mistake,� I might be able to dredge up a modicum of sympathy. After all, it can�t be easy to go through life knowing that an error of judgment had led to bloodshed, at least not for most of us ordinary mortals who would lose sleep if we ran over a dog let alone a human being. However, I do not believe he made an innocent mistake. There is too much circumstantial evidence to the contrary.

Let�s first revisit the notorious Project for a New American Century (PNAC) paper entitled Rebuilding America�s Defences -- a blueprint for a global Pax Americana penned in September 2000 and signed by individuals who were later appointed senior figures in Bush�s cabinet. On Iraq, the document has this to say: �The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussain.�


So now we have a motive, which has nothing to do with WMD and all to do with the will to gain power of those closest to Bush.

If that was, indeed, their motive then, from their point of view the invasion has been a success. The US does have a far stronger presence in the Gulf than it did pre-war and it has negotiated a Status of Forces Agreement with the current Iraqi government, allowing American troops to stay at least until 2011. Who�s to say it won�t be renewed?

We should cast our minds back to the expos�s of former administration figures, such as former Treasury Secretary Paul O�Neill, who revealed that war with Iraq was being discussed as early as January 2001.

He told CBS News� 60 Minutes that during cabinet meetings the president �was like a blind man in a room of dead people.� O�Neill disclosed that �from the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussain was a bad person and that he needed to go� and �Saddam was topic �A� just 10 days after the presidential inauguration.�

This was backed up by Bush�s former anti-terrorism czar Richard Clarke, who on another occasion told the 60 Minutes team that just a day after the September 11 attacks, the then Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was pushing for a retaliatory strike on Iraq even though he knew Afghanistan was Al Qaida�s base.

Clarke thought Rumsfeld was joking when he commented, �There aren�t enough targets in Afghanistan.� He further recalled that Bush took him aside, saying, �Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there�s a connection� in what Clarke refers to as �a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer.�

Then there were Vice President Dick Cheney�s Energy Taskforce documents released by the US Commerce Department in response to a court order under the Freedom of Information Act dated March 2001. These include maps of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals as well as a paper titled �Foreign suitors for Iraqi oilfield contracts.�

The oil factor

All this proves, of course, that Cheney and friends had their eye on Iraqi oil at least two years before the invasion. It isn�t in the least surprising that the Bush administration is still pushing the Iraqis to acquiesce to an oil law that would open the door to foreign oil companies.

As for Iraq�s so-called nuclear capability, which Bush used mercilessly as an entrance into the country, Saddam Hussain�s son-in-law, Hussain Kamel, who defected to Jordan as long ago as the summer of 1995, told the CIA that Iraq had destroyed its WMD following the 1991 Gulf War, which was the case.

Last but not least were Tony Blair�s dodgy dossiers and let�s not forget Colin Powell�s hysterical presentation to the UN, which his aide-de-camp, Lawrence Wilkerson, was later to describe as a �hoax on the American people� and the forged yellowcake from Niger documents, which Bush referred to in his 2003 State of the Union address.

If you truly think Bush made an innocent mistake when he ordered �Shock and Awe,� then I�ve got an Egyptian pyramid going cheap.

Linda S. Heard is a British specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She welcomes feedback and can be contacted by email at

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
How low can the Fed go?
World Bank releases forecast for global economy, and it�s not pretty
If Obama coached the Knicks
Come now, Bush, it was no mistake
Two low-risk foreign policy decisions, one hopeful world
Olmert: Shame sans substance
Imperialists just don�t let you be
Zeitgeist: The withering away of Europe�s anti-war spirit
Obama conspiracy
It�s the Arabs, stupid
Human Rights Day celebration in Gaza
Rogue Bush regime: US government is above the law
Bag the Fed!
Washington�s arrogance has fomented a Muslim revolution
The mythology of the �War on Terrorism�
Obama�s familiar orbit
Torturous ambiguity
Woody Guthrie: A little recession music, please
Making smarter cars instead of stupid decisions
Vote first; ask questions later