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by Mark Dankof for Global News Net (GNN) global_news_net-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


In watching George Bush offer his rationale for a preemptive military strike on Iraq to a canned studio TV audience in friendly Cincinnati, my mind repristinated the same concerns expressed by skeptical policy makers spanning the spectrum from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) and Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) to Pat Buchanan and Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) on the paleoconservative American Right.

A night of pondering some of the following questions unaddressed by Mr. Bush accentuated my own internal discord and unease last night in producing a night of insomnia rivaled only, perhaps, by Xerxes' listless night without sleep recorded in the Book of Esther. Read and ponder them yourselves in the night. If you are similarly plagued by a lack of coherent answers accompanied by documentation, followed by a sleepless night of your own, I'd urge you to pick up the phone after reading this to call your own Congressman and U. S. Senators. See if their answers are any better. The questions are as follows:

1) Is there a reason why Mr. Bush surfaces to offer his explanations on this issue, or virtually any other, always minus any credible, nationally televised cross-examination from reputable media or acknowledged policy-makers? Or are there any of the latter left to challenge the neo-conservative orthodoxy of Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Condolezza Rice?

2) We know why Cincinnati was chosen as the venue for Mr. Bush's TV studio speech. On what basis were the individual people selected for live attendance?

3) Mr. Bush stated that no predetermination to go to war had yet been reached. What does he say about credible reports in the international press that CIA special para-military forces have already launched measures within Iraq's borders to prepare for the coming, full-fledged American/British military effort? Or the reports in the Israeli controlled STRATFOR on-line intelligence service, which coincide with the statements of Israeli Defense Minister Ben Eliezer in Haaretz two days ago, that hostilities will begin as early as the end of next month?

4) Mr. Bush noted the increasing military capabilities of Saddam Hussein in biological, chemical, and potentially nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Where did these capabilities come from? What was the real nature of the American-Hussein relationship during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war? What was the involvement of Mr. Bush's father, George Herbert Walker Bush, in developing the once mutually profitable, utilitarian relationship between the American intelligence community and Saddam? Were we concerned when Saddam's gas was being employed against Iranians at Abadan and elsewhere?

5) Mr. Bush believes that a preemptive American/British attack on Saddam will bring stability to the region. Why does he believe that such an attack will not stimulate anti-American, Islamic fundamentalist movements in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and elsewhere, that may overthrow existing governments, worsen the climate of violence in the region, and create new, insurmountable problems in America's diplomatic relations in the Middle East across the board?

6) Mr. Bush believes that an attack on Saddam is necessary to secure Americans in their homeland and lessen the possibility of further domestic acts of Middle Eastern sponsored terrorism within the continental United States. But do his FBI and Department of Homeland Security really know the extent of the number of Middle Eastern terrorist organizations with cells in the United States? And how many members each organization has? If the organizations and members in question already have their players and resources in place to launch new acts of terror in American cities and against American assets, will not his attack on Iraq bring on the very scenario he claims to be attempting to prevent?

7) What has Mr. Bush done to seal America's borders from intruders? What improvements have really been made in American immigration laws and security procedures to insure that immigrants from abroad are really who they claim to be? What threat does Mr. Bush believe is presented to domestic American security by Islamic mosques whose Imams are specifically known to be in sympathy with the Wahhabic division of Sunni Islam that has produced Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar? Is an American military action abroad in Iraq, minus the evaluation of these internal threats stemming from the last 37 years of immigration policy, an open invitation to disaster both in the United States and Europe?

8) There are 50,000 shipping containers from abroad that reach American ports each day, a total of 16 million a year. The Customs Department admits that only 2% of these are searched in any given day. These containers represent an open invitation for the arrival of Weapons of Mass Destruction in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, Houston, San Diego, Seattle, et. al. What is Mr. Bush doing about this problem specifically, especially as the United States moves closer to preemptive military action against Iraq, a move that presumably will spur Middle Eastern terrorist organizations into even more aggressive attempts at violence against American assets and the continental United States?

9) What is the role of the Israeli lobby in steering Mr. Bush's advisors, and the Congress, into military action against Saddam? What actions is Mr. Bush undertaking to stop America's underwriting of Ariel Sharon's ethnic cleansing in Gaza and on the West Bank? Does Mr. Bush believe this perpetual sponsorship to be a legitimate bone of contention against the United States within the Arab world? If so, what will he do about it, specifically?

10) What is the role of the American and British oil and natural gas consortiums in seeking unilateral military action against a country which possesses the 2nd largest reserve supply of petroleum in the Middle East? What does Mr. Bush say to the charge that American and British forces will in fact be the janissaries for the protection of both new and existing oil and natural gas pipelines? Is it a coincidence that most of Iraq's existing oil contracts are with Russia and France? Does a regime change guarantee a new climate of friendliness with UNOCAL, BP-Amoco, and the usual cast of characters? What is the real endgame here? (see www.nassiri.spyw.com for some of the possible answers)

11) Who will follow Saddam Hussein in Iraq, assuming American and British success in removing him? Will the United States support a Kurdish state in the north, to atone for U-turns in American assurances to the Kurds in 1975 and 1991? What would Turkey say if we did? And what about the Shiite presence in southern Iraq? Will a Shiite presence in any future government in Iraq be an acceptable idea in contrast to past American assumptions on the subject? And in terms of supporting regime change, what does Mr. Bush say about the number of years that American troops will have to be stationed in Iraq? Does he agree with estimates which speak of figures from 89-150 billion dollars a year to support such an operation? How many casualties, how many years, and how much money does he really believe the American public will sustain in the support of his policy?

12) American aircraft carriers are repositioning themselves for an action against Saddam in the next several months, according to STRATFOR. What does this adjustment mean in terms of naval carrier coverage of other crucial theaters globally? Does Mr. Bush believe that the United States retains the capability of adequately defending Taiwan in the event of Communist Chinese aggression in the Pacific during an Iraqi operation? And what are the implications of Communist Chinese control of the Panama Canal and American naval logistics operations from the Pacific to the Atlantic, through Li Ka-Shing's Hutchison Whampoa, Ltd. front company based in Hong Kong?

I didn't hear these questions asked by a cheering cadre of sycophants in Cincinnati last night. And had they been asked, one suspects that Mr. Bush would not have had the answers. Let us hope that our Congress asks these questions, and demands the answers. The hour is late, the clock is ticking, and the future survivability of America as a Constitutional Republic may hang in the balance.

(Mark Dankof (med1chd2@concentric.net) is a correspondent and staff writer with Global News Net and an occasional correspondent with the orthodox Lutheran weekly, Christian News.  A graduate of Valparaiso University and Chicago's Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, he has pursued post-graduate theological study in recent years at Philadelphia's Westminster Theological Seminary. Formerly the 36th District Chairman of the Republican Party in King County/Seattle, and later an elected delegate to Texas State Republican Conventions in 1994 and 1996, he entered the United States Senate race in Delaware in 2000 as the nominated candidate of the Constitution Party against Democratic candidate Thomas Carper and incumbent William Roth.  His writings are frequently reposted in the Iranian Times, Sam Ghandchi's Iranscope, San Francisco and Palestine Indy Media, the London Morning Paper, Nile Media, and Table Talk, the official publication of the Lutheran Ministerium and Synod--USA.)

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