"Weapons of Mass Deception"


The U.S. War on Iraq: Yet Another Battle To Protect Israeli Interests?

Special Report

The U.S. War on Iraq: Yet Another Battle To Protect Israeli Interests?
October 2003,
By Delinda C. Hanley

Why did President George W. Bush invade Iraq? Some very curious developments in the U.S.-occupied nation are making Iraqis and their Arab neighbors very uneasy as they question Bush's motives. These amazing tales should also infuriate Americans who are beginning to suspect they've been hoodwinked into fighting yet another battle on behalf of Israel.

On the eve of war, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair told their people that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction posed a real and present danger to Americans, their British cousins, indeed the entire planet. If Saddam Hussain didn't use his weapons himself, the Anglo-American leaders argued, he might pass them on to terrorist groups. U.S. and British citizens believed their leaders were looking out for their safety and that they had evidence of Saddam Hussain's evil intentions which they could not yet divulge.

Some 1,500 American investigators are now searching Iraq for evidence to back up those controversial claims. Former United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter doubts the investigators, known as the Iraq Survey Group, will have much luck. For one thing, he points out, every Iraqi government record relating to the weapons program was stored in metal containers at a complex in downtown Baghdad's Jadariya. This archive was the basis for the 12,500-page declaration Iraq compiled for the U.N. in 2002.

On April 8 U.S. troops took possession of the complex. They never interviewed the scientists who continued to report for work or tried to examine the archives. Instead the U.S. soldiers simply withdrew after two weeks, leaving all the evidence: computers, disks, video records of U.N. interviews with Iraqi scientists throughout the 1990s, and the carefully organized documents. Looters ransacked the facility and destroyed any evidence of a weapons program.

Anyone who watches TV knows that, in investigating a crime, it first is necessary to secure the crime scene. One has to wonder why U.S. forces never bothered to do this—or to guard from looters the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center, or six other nuclear sites in Iraq. Did coalition leaders know all along there were no weapons of mass destruction?

It's beginning to look like anti-war protesters were on the right track when they declared: "No War For Oil!" Iraq, one of the world's largest oil producers, has a potential output of 2.5 million barrels a day. Would the U.S. really attack a nation for its oil? Perish the thought! The coalition promised that Iraq's oil would finally benefit its own people, instead of lining its leader's pockets. Today Iraqis are beginning to doubt that message as well, as fuel shortages and gas lines at petrol stations make them wonder if they'll ever be able to return to normal.

And now another horrible suspicion is crossing their minds. Did Bush's Israel-first advisers invade Iraq in order to assure that Israel would have easy access to oil?

A March 31 Ha'aretz article reported upcoming plans to reopen a long-unused pipeline from Iraq's Kirkuk oil fields to the Israeli port of Haifa. Israel's National Infrastructure Minister Joseph Paritzky suggested that after Saddam Hussain's departure Iraqi oil could flow to the Jewish state, to be consumed or marketed from there.

"The pipeline [of Iraqi oil] to Haifa is considered a 'bonus' the U.S. will give to Israel."

According to John Cooley's April 23 article in The Christian Science Monitor, "The idea is economically tempting for Israel and some of its friends, especially those whose firms might profit from such a project. Oil-poor Israel, MEES [Middle East Economic Survey] reports, wants high-quality Kirkuk crude oil for its Haifa refinery. Israeli refineries currently use Russian, West African, Egyptian, and other crude oils.

"Politically, the scheme is a potential bomb," Cooley warned, because Israel and Iraq have been implacable foes since 1948. "Its implementation could ignite a new explosion in the chain of reactions to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, now beginning to reverberate throughout the troubled Middle East."

Nevertheless, according to a Ha'aretz article the following day, "a senior Pentagon official" sent a telegram to a "top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem" to check the logistics of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa and rebuilding the Kirkuk-Mosul-Haifa pipeline. According to the telegram, "The pipeline to Haifa is considered a 'bonus' the U.S. will give to Israel in return for its support for the American-led campaign in Iraq."

In early September, Paritzky will travel to Washington, DC to present Israel's pipeline plans, along with a cost estimate, to U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. Israel's National Infrastructure Ministry estimates a 42-inch pipeline between Kirkuk and Haifa would cost about $400,000 per kilometer.

The plan requires Jordanian consent, but Amman would receive a transit fee for allowing the oil to traverse its territory. Jordan's neighbors may have something to say about this—but will the Iraqis have any voice at all in the decision regarding their oil?

Responding to the rumors, Turkey has warned Israel that it would regard this scheme as a serious blow to Turkish-Israeli relations. Iraqi oil currently is transported through Turkey to a port near Syria. Ankara depends on the transit fees collected on this oil.

Special Report

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Milton Frihetsson, 02:46


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