By Harry Braun
February 5, 2003
CIA and FBI investigators disagree with Bush Administration Claims that there is a connection between Iraq and 911.
According to The New York Times (February 2, 2003) investigative report by James Risen and David Johnston, analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) complained that "senior administration officials have exaggerated the significance of some of the intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, in order to strengthen their political argument for war." The report also states that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network.
"We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there."
In fact, Osama bin Laden has long despised Saddam Hussein because he encouraged Iraq to embrace so many western attitudes, such as allowing women to not only wear western clothes and makeup, but allow Iraqi woman to be educated and even serve in the most elite branches of the military. While the Bush administration dismisses the notion that Iraq's multi-trillion dollar oil reserves are at issue, it is clear that the Iraqi oil will be "managed" by the U.S., and that Iraqi oil revenues will be used to pay back the U.S. and its allies for its nation building efforts. President Bush has arrogantly stated on numerous occasions that he intends to go to war with Iraq regardless of what the United Nations authorizes, which means the Bush administration will soon make the U.S. an outlaw nation.
The Bush administration claims that the U.S. is threatened by Iraq, yet none of Iraq's Muslim neighbors in the Middle East want the U.S. to attack Iraq. Indeed, a U.S. invasion of Iraq will be like throwing gasoline on the fire of anti-Americanism - and "anti-Bushism" that is now spreading like wildfire. There is no question that the U.S. can quickly defeat any Iraqi military resistance, but the U.S. looks like a bully who only attacks people and countries who are hopelessly outclassed and unable to defend themselves. More ominously, this hard-line policy of the Bush Administration has probably forced Iraq to give away much of its chemical and biological weapons-and who better to give these weapons to than Islamic fundamentalists who have pledged to the death to attack the U.S.
The U.S. needs a more enlightened foreign policy that "your either with us or against us." As Abdel Said wrote in The New York Times (January 30, 2003):
". . . the American government seems to have divided the Middle East into a set of separate problems, each in its own little box.
Iraq, Iran, the Palestinians and the Israelis, fundamentalism, terrorism. To an Arab, these are all related issues. The U.S.
should concentrate on the problem whose resolution would ultimately solve all the other problems. That problem isn't Iraq.
It is the Palestinian question . . ."
The one country that has violated more than twice as many U.N. resolutions as Iraq over the past 20 years is Israel. Indeed, even though the U.S. is the only country that provides financial and military support to Israel, the Israeli government disobeyed a direct order from President Bush to stop its brutal military incursions into the Palestinian territories - which continue to this day. Israel has destroyed plumbing and electrical services in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories, and a large population of Palestinian children are now literally starving to death. While Israel refused to allow the media to see what was going on, hundreds of distinguished and decorated Israel military personnel who have seen the atrocities first-hand have refused to participate in any further military actions in the occupied territories. Yet Israel is not even threatened with economic pressure from the U.S., much less U.S. military action. Indeed, Israel has asked recently asked the U.S. Congress to increase its annual payments from $3 billion to $15 billion. Such glaring inconsistencies in U.S. foreign policy may be dismissed by most Americans, but these policies are the primary reason why millions of people in the world are now growing up to hate America.
The war policies of the Bush administration have taken the media's attention away from his quiet war on the environment and his fiscally irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy that will do more damage than good by creating record deficits. Instead of a war with Iraq and the environment, President Bush should be focused on implementing the Phoenix Project, which is a plan to have the U.S. lead the world in shifting from oil and other fossil and nuclear fuels, to solar-sourced hydrogen with wartime speed. This can be accomplished by mass-producing wind and other solar technologies for large-scale hydrogen production and modifying every existing vehicle (including aircraft) to use hydrogen fuel. Urban air pollution, oil spills and the need for oil wars will finally be ended and millions of Americans will be employed in the process. Energy policy profoundly impacts the interrelated issues of the economy, the environment and foreign policy, and while the Bush Administration seeks keep the U.S. addicted to oil by securing the reserves in Iraq and recovering the remaining reserves in sensitive offshore or wilderness areas, such policies are equivalent to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The Phoenix Project, by contrast, is a "transition of substance" that will allow America to rapidly become energy independent of Middle East oil, as well as all fossil and nuclear fuels. Approximately 12 million one-megawatt wind-powered electrolysis systems could provide 100% of the U.S. energy requirements (i.e., 100 quads) in the form of electricity and hydrogen. Given that over 17 million cars and trucks are manufactured in the U.S. each year, the 12 million wind systems, which are similar to automobiles from a manufacturing perspective, could and should be built and installed within a five or ten year period. It is worth noting that in World War II, every major industry was retooled in about 12 months.
Hydrogen needs to be focused on because it can be made from water and solar energy, and is the only zero-carbon renewable energy option that can make the U.S. energy independent of not only oil, but all fossil and nuclear fuels. Moreover, because hydrogen is a "universal fuel," virtually any existing vehicle, including SUVs or any remaining Model T Fords, can and should be modified to use hydrogen, which is much safer than gasoline or other hydrocarbon fuels in the event of an accident. Every major automobile manufacturer is now developing hydrogenfueled vehicles, but the "trigger mechanism" for a rapid transition to a "Hydrogen Economy" is the passage of a Fair Accounting Act by the U.S. Congress. This legislation would end subsidies to fossil and nuclear fuels and raise funds for a tax credit strategy to encourage individuals to modify their existing automotive vehicles to use hydrogen fuel. Harry Braun is author of The Phoenix Project (phoenixproject.net), and Chairman of the Hydrogen Political Action Committee (h2pac.org), whose telephone number is (602) 977-0888. He is a graduate of Arizona State University and has worked as an energy and environmental analyst for the past 30 years.