War plans split in open

War plans split in open

By By Joe Baker, Senior Editor

The growing rancor within the Bush camp between pro and con factions over the proposed attack on Iraq is increasingly boiling over into the public arena.

In the past week, some heavy hitters and Republican luminaries have stepped forward to voice their opposition and concern over such plans. The list is headed by none other than Henry Kissinger, the prime architect of U.S. foreign and security policy in the second half of the Cold War.

Other leading foreign policy gurus who spoke out include: Brent Scowcroft, former national security advisor to George Bush Sr. during his presidency; Lawrence Eagleburger, who was Secretary of State following the 1991 Gulf War; Rep. Richard Armey, House majority leader and Texas oil lobbyist; and Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, considered an expert on intelligence and security.

All of these men question whether the administration of George W. Bush has thought through the consequences of such a move. They want to know if there is a plan for what happens to Iraq after Saddam.

All of them are pushing President Bush to more clearly state his case and not rely so much on demonizing Saddam Hussein. Expecting Bush to clearly state anything is obviously wishful thinking.

These present and former government officials did not have that problem. Scowcroft, writing in The Wall Street Journal, said any attack on Iraq “would seriously jeopardize, if not destroy, the global counter-terrorist campaign we have undertaken.”

Scowcroft also said it would raise the possibility of a chemical and nuclear weapons exchange between Iraq and Israel and warned of “Armageddon in the Middle East.”

Many are speculating that Scowcroft is an emissary from the president’s father, who disagrees with his son’s plans, urging him to reconsider. The New York Times called Scowcroft’s efforts “an extraordinary challenge to the Bush administration” and added: “Mr. Scowcroft’s concerns about attacking Iraq were the equivalent of a cannon shot across the White House lawn.”

Kissinger made his remarks in The Washington Post, an expected forum, and also was critical of this administration’s fondness for solving global political problems with military force alone.

“America’s special responsibility,” he said, “is to work toward an international system that rests on more than military power-indeed that strives to translate power into cooperation. Any other attitude will gradually isolate and exhaust America,” Kissinger wrote.

Russia, Germany, France and Britain stand as a united front in Europe opposing an attack on Iraq.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, our major military compounds in the Persian Gulf, have said that attacks on Iraq may not be launched from their soil.

Eagleburger, speaking on ABC television, noted there’s little or no evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction as the Bush camp is fond of labeling them. “I don’t know why we have to do it (invade) now,” he said, “when all our allies are opposed to it.”

Not only is this the case with Iraq, but there are hints this administration is looking beyond Iraq to other targets in the region. As Robert Fisk, writing in London’s The Independent, expressed it: “It’s not difficult to see what’s going on. It’s not just al-Qaeda who are the enemy. It’s Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Saudi Arabia.

“Bush Productions is setting up the Arab world. We are being prepared for a wide-screen epic, a spectacle supported by Hollywood fiction and a plot of lies. Alas, my Dad is no longer with us to remind them all that cinema does not imitate reality, that war films lie about life and death,” said Fisk.

In the meantime, National Public Radio has reported the U.S. is moving hardware from Europe. The Asian Times confirms the report, saying the process began in March. That story said Turkey, Qatar and Kuwait have replaced Bahrain and Saudi Arabia as launching points and asserts we already have troops on the ground in Iraq.

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