June 12, 2006

Pre-9/11 US-Iraq Relations

I was just now looking through the White Houses's website for any articles about Mexico's president, Vicente Fox Quesada. I was originally trying to see if I could get a status of our president's relationship with that of Mexico's (and I did find what I expected regarding that), but I found out something regarding Iraq that I wasn't aware of until now.

This is from a press conference in Mexico with Vicente Fox and George W. Bush from February 16, 2001:

Q What is the message that you want to send right now, what does the United States want to send to the world as a message with the new bombing of Iraq? [...] Is this a beginning of a new war?


PRESIDENT BUSH: [...] the United States is engaged in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. We will remain so. Since 1991, our country has been enforcing what's called a no-fly zone. A routine mission was conducted to enforce the no-fly zone. And it is a mission about which I was informed and I authorized. But, I repeat, it is a routine mission, and we will continue to enforce the no-fly zone until the world is told otherwise.


Q Sir, as you say, this is the first military action you've taken as President of the United States. I'm wondering whether it signals a hardening of the U.S. position towards Iraq. And specifically, is it your goal to drive Saddam Hussein from power? And, secondly, are you putting Saddam on notice today that American military action will be more frequent or more forceful than it was before you became President?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. Fournier, Saddam Hussein has got to understand that we expect him to conform to the agreement that he signed after Desert Storm. We will enforce the no-fly zone, both south and north. Our intention is to make sure that the world is as peaceful as possible. And we're going to watch very carefully as to whether or not he develops weapons of mass destruction, and if we catch him doing so we'll take the appropriate action.


Bush's statements from this press conference should be extremely noted, simply for the fact that they are pre-9/11. Here we are reminded (or informed, in my case) that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction began before the September 11th attacks. But Washington wasn't out for Saddam just because of the potential WMDs, they were apparently pissed off about the "no-fly zone" too. There was NO MENTION WHATSOEVER about Saddam's tyranny over Iraq and certainly nothing about promoting democracy there.

This should serve as a reminder that we did not invade Iraq because of 9/11, and that the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq were originally two different things. The war in Iraq may have started regardless of the 9/11 attacks, but because of the attacks, the public was much easier to dupe into backing the president in his John Wayne style efforts to control the middle east, and it made it possible for Washington to completely change the original mission in Iraq! 9/11 sucked for more than one reason.

However, regarding 9/11, it should also be known (as the American media didn't cover this at all) that the U.S. was planning to invade Afghanistan before 9/11, also. According to The Guardian via Jello Biafra, it was publicly known in Europe that U.S. diplomats met in the summer of 2001 with some diplomats from other countries in an informal meeting about a potential invasion of Afghanistan to capture Osama bin Laden. Biafra concludes that the representatives from Pakistan could have taken that information back to the Afghani Taliban, "which The Guardian suggests it did" (Biafra). Knowing that information made 9/11 look a lot less random and unprovoked to Europeans; the U.S. public was unfortunately kept completely in the dark and became conveniently vulnerable to manipulation. The rest is fresh, unfinished history.

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