Saturday, May 06, 2006

All the Wars in Bush's Little Peanut


Bush calls terror fight WWIII
From: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Washington

May 06, 2006

US President George W. Bush has said the September 11 revolt of passengers against their hijackers on board Flight 93 had struck the first blow of "World War III".
In an interview with the financial news network CNBC, Mr Bush said he had yet to see the recently released film of the uprising, a dramatic portrayal of events on the United Airlines plane before it crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

But he said he agreed with the description of David Beamer, whose son Todd died in the crash, who in a Wall Street Journal commentary last month called it "our first successful counter-attack in our homeland in this new global war, World War III".

Mr Bush said: "I believe that. I believe that it was the first counter-attack to World War III.

"It was, it was unbelievably heroic of those folks on the airplane to recognize the danger and save lives," he said.

Flight 93 crashed on the morning of September 11, 2001, killing the 33 passengers, seven crew members and four hijackers, after passengers stormed the cockpit and battled the hijackers for control of the aircraft.

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The president has repeatedly praised the heroism of the passengers in fighting back and so launching the first blow of what he usually calls the "war on terror".

In 2002, then-White House spokesman Ari Fleischer explicitly declined to call the hunt for Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda group and its followers "World War III".


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After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, President Bush and his supporters spent a great deal of time talking about a "coalition of the willing" that at one time included four dozen countries. The president's use of the term "coalition" was always something of a misnomer, as it suggested a great deal of shared responsibility, when in fact the overwhelming majority of troops on the ground were from the U.S. Aside from the U.S. and Great Britain, no country ever had more than 5,000 troops in Iraq, and many of the coalition "partners" never had more than 100 troops in the country.

Additionally, some of the largest troop contingents came from countries in eastern and central Europe that had been coerced to join the coalition by the U.S., which promised support for their efforts to integrate into international economic and political organizations in return.

The president makes few references to his "coalition of the willing" these days because the coalition has been crumbling. Among the countries that have exited the coalition are Singapore (in January 2004), Nicaragua (February 2004), Spain (April 2004), Dominican Republic (May 2004), Honduras (May 2004), Norway (June 2004), Philippines (July 2004), Thailand (August 2004), New Zealand (September 2004), Tonga (December 2004), Hungary (December 2004), Portugal (February 2005), Moldova (February 2005), Netherlands (June 2005), Ukraine (December 2005) and Bulgaria (January 2006).

Compared with the U.S. casualty rate, the Italians have suffered relatively few losses in Iraq. But those losses have been deeply felt, as they have been in other coalition countries. Twenty-seven Italian soldiers died in Iraq, according to a CNN count. That's out of a coalition death toll, as of April 10, of 2,560 2,353 of them Americans, one Australian, 103 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, three Danes, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Fijian, one Hungarian, one Kazakh, one Latvian, 17 Poles, two Salvadorans, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians.

Prodi has always said that the Italian death toll was 27 too many.

A former prime minister, Prodi re-entered Italian politics two years ago after serving as president of the European Commission when he backed a campaign against Italian participation in the coalition that used the slogan "Iraq: A Wrongful War." Now, as the prime minister once more, Prodi will be able to implement the promise of that campaign by withdrawing Italian troops from the coalition and by further confirming that the ongoing occupation of Iraq is George W. Bush's project as opposed to that of a genuine "coalition of the willing."


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We now know that a blueprint for the creation of a global Pax Americana was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice-president), Donald Rumsfeld (defense secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb Bush (George Bush's younger brother) and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses, was written in September 2000 by the neoconservative think tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says "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 Hussein."


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