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Response to WillyT (Reply #43)

Fri Aug 7, 2015, 09:47 PM

84. Jeb Bush and His Brother’s Wars

It was not “faulty intelligence,” as Jeb Bush claims, that led to the war in Iraq. He knows better. His brother’s Administration meant to invade Iraq from its first days in office, and Jeb Bush was prominent among those demanding it.

by RICHARD W. BEHAN
CounterPunch, July 10, 2015

EXCERPT...

These commitments, to invade two sovereign nations, were in place long before the horrific events of September 11, 2001. When that day arrived, the White House seized immediately the public relations opportunity it provided. 9/11 became in a heartbeat the spectacular cause celebre to provoke the scheduled wars, and far more importantly to cloak their intent and premeditation.

The “global war on terror” was born—in fraudulence. And for years to come the people of the Project for the New American Century—including Jeb Bush, governing in Florida—dissembled, calling it a righteous, just, even glorious enterprise.

An offer for “the unconditional surrender of (Osama) bin Laden” was waiting on the presidential desk when George Bush was inaugurated on January 20, 2001. The Clinton Administration extracted the offer from the Taliban in November of 2000, after the al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole. To avoid a retaliatory bombing of Afghanistan the Taliban offered up bin Laden’s head.

The new Bush Administration, however, sent a letter to the Taliban asking to delay the handover of bin Laden until February. This bizarre, seemingly derelict decision would be explained by events still to take place as the Administration plunged ahead, driven by the strategic blueprint of the Project for the New American Century.

The Bush Administration soon undertook its own negotiations with the Taliban, on a separate issue: an exclusive right-of-way for a geostrategic pipeline across Afghanistan, to access and control the epic hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian Basin. The Taliban had granted such a right-of-way to the Bridas Corporation of Argentina, but the Bush Administration wanted it reassigned to America’s Unocal Corporation instead. In exchange, the Administration would provide a package of foreign aid. The negotiators met three times, in Washington, Berlin, and Islamabad, but the Taliban would not agree. Reports in the British press surfaced later of a covert statement by the Bush Administration in mid-July: “…military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.” And at the final meeting, on August 2, 2001, State Department negotiator Christine Rocca issued the Administration’s ultimatum: “Accept our offer of a carpet of gold or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”

In the course of the pipeline talks, the Taliban’s surrender of Osama bin Laden was twice more postponed by the Bush Administration, and then on September 11 bin Laden struck again: the trade towers fell and the Pentagon smoldered.

Both President Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld were frantic to launch the planned attack on Iraq, and ordered subordinates to find a reason for doing so: some—any–connection between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would do.

But none could be found, so soon, on October 7 and right on schedule, the carpet of bombs was delivered as promised to the sovereign nation of Afghanistan.

The Project for the New American Century was no doubt disappointed, but registered no complaint. Indeed its architects, William Kristol and Robert Kagan three weeks later on October 29 wrote, “Nor do we doubt the vital importance of victory in Afghanistan—a victory defined by the unequivocal destruction of the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden.”

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/10/jeb-bush-and-his-brothers-wars/

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