Longer Than World War II
by Thomas A. Droleskey
American involvement in Iraq, which was begun late in the evening (Eastern time in the United States of America) on March 19, 2003, after a six month public build-up prior to the onset of hostilities, has now lasted seven years. What is called the Iraq War but should be more appropriate called the invasion and occupation of that sovereign nation has lasted longer than World War II, which began with the invasion of Poland by the armed forces of the Third Reich of Nazi Germany on September 1, 1939 (Poland was invaded from the East by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on September 17, 1939, as Josef Stalin kept his part of the Ribbentrop-Molatov Pact that had been entered into by the foreign ministers of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on August 24, 1939), and ended with the unconditional surrender of the Empire of Japan to General Douglas Mac Arthur aboard the U.S.S. Missouri on September 2, 1945, nineteen days after the announcement of Japan announced on August 14, 1945, that it would surrender. World War II lasted for six years. American involvement in the war, which started when both Houses of the United States Congress voted to declare war on the Empire of Japan on December 8, 1941, lasted for approximately forty-five months. American involvement in Iraq has lasted eighty-four months as of this very day, Saturday, March 20, 2010.
Although many articles have been written on this site about the Iraq War (several articles on the subject were published in The Remnant between January of 2003 and March of 2006, including A Tale of Two Speeches), it is worth repeating once again several points to remind the very few readers of this site that the predicates necessary to engage in a just war were not fulfilled and that tremendous atrocities have been committed by the government of the United States of America and by the various private contractors that were hired to provide "security" in the wake of the power vacuum created by the American invasion and overthrow of the dictator Saddam Hussein and that Iraq and to "rebuild" a country whose infrastructure was eviscerated by American bombing. (For a review of the predicates of the just war theory as I attempted to apply them to the possibility of an Iraq War in late-2002, please see
The Real Enemies Are Within, part 1; and
The Real Enemies Are Within, part 2 .)
The push on the part of the neoconservative war hawks in the administration of then President George Walker Bush to use the attacks that took place on September 11, 2001, as the pretext to plan a war with Iraq had its roots in the "Project for the New American Century," which was cooked up by some of those who would later plan and execute the Iraq War as a means of effecting a "regime change" in Iraq that would benefit "America's only ally" in the Middle East, Israel, by creating a peaceful, democratic Arab nation that world conform to the principles of American "exceptionalism" (which contends, of course, that the American "way" is the and only model for all countries in the world in order to know true "progress" and social and economic growth and stability, that it is the "mission" of the United States of America to spread its "way" around the world).
Among the charter signatories of the "Project for the New American Century," which released its statement of principles on June 3, 1997, were Jeb Bush, Richard B. Cheney, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Norman Podhoretz, James Danforth Quayle (yes, that James Danforth Quayle), Donald Rumsfeld, the Catholic neocon war hawk and mocker of the Social Reign of Christ the King named George Weigel, and Paul Wolfowitz. Among those who made made contributions to the work of the "Project for the new American Century were Richard Armitage, John Bolton, William Kristol, and Richard Perle. Readers will surely recognize that several future officials in the administration of President George Walker Bush were very active in an organization which sought to promote "regime change" in Iraq as the means to "stabilize" the Middle East as to make the region safe for the country that persecutes Palestinians and sees fit to invade the sovereign country of Lebanon and to bomb its civilians at will, Israel.
Richard Cheney, of course, was Vice President of the United States of America, from January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2009.
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was the Chief of Staff for Vice President Cheney from 2001 to 2005.
Donald D. Rumsfeld was the United States Secretary of Defense from January 20, 2001, to December 18, 2006.
Richard Perle was the Chairman of the Defense Board Advisory Committee in the White House of President George Walker Bush from 2001 to 2003.
Paul Wolfowitz was the Deputy Secretary of Defense of the United States of America from January 20, 2001, to June 1, 2005.
John Bolton was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 1, 2005, to December 9, 2006.
Richard Armitage was the United States Deputy Secretary of State from March 26, 2001, to February 22, 2005.
Mind you, this is only a sampling of the individuals whose neoconservative war hawk roots who served in the George Walker Bush administration who had an association with the "Project for the New American Century."
It was on January 26, 1998, that several of the participants in the "Project for the New American Century" sent an open letter then President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton to urge "regime change" in Iraq:
We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.
The policy of “containment” of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over the past several months. As recent events have demonstrated, we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections. Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddam’s secrets. As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons.
Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East. It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard. As you have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat.
Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.
We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.
We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk.
Elliott Abrams Richard L. Armitage William J. Bennett
Jeffrey Bergner John Bolton Paula Dobriansky
Francis Fukuyama Robert Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad
William Kristol Richard Perle Peter W. Rodman
Donald Rumsfeld William Schneider, Jr. Vin Weber
Paul Wolfowitz R. James Woolsey Robert B. Zoellick
Letter to President Clinton on Iraq,)
There was, therefore, a predisposition on the part of the neoconservative war hawks in the administration of then President George Walker Bush to use the tragic events of September 11, 2001, as the pretext to launch an immoral, unjust, unconstitutional invasion of a sovereign nation that posed no immediate or any kind of real, legitimate threat to the national security of the United States of America. This unjust war has cost the lives of nearly five thousand American citizens, including civilians, and has been responsible for the deaths of somewhere between 100,000 and 600,000 thoroughly innocent Iraqi civilians (estimates vary), some of whom have died as a result of American military actions, others of whom have died as a result of terrorist attacks launched by various warring Mohammedan factions within Iraq and by those who used the country's porous borders after the invasion as a sieve to seek to attack American forces in Iraq that they could not otherwise reach from their home countries.
The financial costs of the war have been staggering. The social costs for Americans at home have been staggering as the family lives of regular military service personnel and, most especially, of reservists in the United States National Guard have been disrupted and, in all too many instances, entirely broken, shattered. As I wrote The Remnant on early-2003 in in anticipation of these costs of the pending war, "for what?" To make Iraq safe for a "democracy" it did not want and will always be threatened by rival factions? For what?
Here is a brief synopsis of the misrepresentations that were made in the propaganda build-up to the Iraq War in 2002-2003 here in the United States of America:
1) Saddam Hussein had no "weapons of mass destruction." He destroyed his stockpile of biological weapons in the 1990s. The biological agents that he used on the Kurds in 1991 were sold to him by the United States of America in 1985 to be used in the then ongoing Iran-Iraq War. Hussein, who was certainly a brutal thug responsible for the deaths of about 1.5 million Iraqis between 1969 and 2003 (about the same number of innocent human beings put to death under cover of the civil law by means of surgical abortions each year) simply stockpiled those weapons to be used in his own country at a later date. Who was the American envoy who arranged for the sale of these biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Look for yourselves:
Shaking Hands: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983. (National Security Archive, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/ There is an interesting, fact-based article, replete with links to national security documents, available at: Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein.)
As noted just above, Hussein stockpiled these weapons sold to him by the United Sates of America, choosing not to use them in the war against Iran, which did not end until 1988, and used them instead on the Kurds in northern Iraq following the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, a war that was launched to expel Iraq's forces from a country, Kuwait, which Hussein believed that American Ambassador April Glaspie on July 25, 1990, had signaled to him was not of significant enough interest for the United States of America to do anything other than express a verbal condemnation in its behalf should he, Hussein, decide to reclaim Iraqi land that was taken away from it following the end of World War I.
2) The Iraqi government had no involvement in the September 11, 2001, attacks upon the World Trade Center towers in the City of New York, New York, and upon the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
3) The Iraqi government had no involvement with Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda. Saddam Hussein was a thug who governed Iraq in the style of a Mafioso don. Mobsters protect their territories very carefully. Saddam Hussein, a very secular and non-observant Mohammedan and a xenophobe who had no use for foreigners of any type (saved for the Soviets when it served his purposes to have them train his military forces), never wanted a rival gang of mobsters to enter and possibly destabilize his country.
4) According to then President Bush, in an address given on October 7, 2002, Saddam Hussein's Iraq had a "growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas" (see George W. Bush: Address to the Nation on Iraq From Cincinnati, Ohio). This last point was particularly laughable. Growing fleet? How about two unmanned aerial vehicles? That's right, two. Their range? About 650 miles, which means that these unmanned aerial vehicles would had to have been transported by the nonexistent Iraqi navy undetected by satellite reconnaissance in order to get close enough to the United States to drop the nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction" that Saddam Hussein was alleged to have possessed or was in the "process" of developing. Absolute absurdity designed to frighten the American public and win international support for his scheme of "regime change" to aid the not-so-"democratic" State of Israel and American corporate interests.
5) Saddam Hussein was not attempting to purchase
enriched uranium from the country of Niger to foment another attack on the United States of America, contrary to the claim made by President George Walker Bush in his State of the Union Address on January 28, 2003:
The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.
Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.
The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary, he is deceiving. (President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address.)
No, it was George Walker Bush and his neoconservative war hawks who were deceiving the world. Saddam Hussein, caught up in his delusional world of paranoia and thuggery, was content to rattle the cages of the United States of America. He had no credible means to attack this country whatsoever.
The unjust, immoral, unconstitutional invasion of the sovereign country of Iraq to impose upon its people the "American way" so as to make the Middle East safe for Israel has also devastated Iraq's population of Christians, including Chaldean Rite Catholics. Mohammedan violence against Catholics and members of various Orthodox sects has been relentless in the past seven years. As bad as Saddam Hussein was, and he was a brutal thug, to be sure, he was a clever politician who wanted to have the support of as many groups as possible in Iraq, which is why he protected the small Christian minority in that country. One of the consequences of Hussein's overthrow has been to make Christians "fair game" for Mohammedan murderers, who have long desired to kill off or to drive into exile the "infidels." (See More Christians Killed in Iraq,
Chaldean bishop says U.S. accountable for death of Archbishop of Mosul, and
Go Tell Iraq's Catholics--and American Babies--About The "Lesser of Two Evils".)
Neither the George Walker Bush administration or that of his successor, Barack Hussein Obama, have cared much to stop the violence against Christians as to do so would mean angering members of warring Mohammedan factions who are deemed "necessary" to build a "democratic" Iraq. The lives of Chaldean Rite Catholics and members of the various Orthodox sects are as expendable to American policy-makers, who have, of course, sanctioned outright torture and introduced contraception into country almost immediately after the first wave of the American invasion began seven years ago today, as the lives of Palestinian Arabs and the Lebanese are to the murderous thugs in the government of Israel and in that country's defense forces. Too bad. The "better" world must be built. Too bad that so many innocent lives must be killed. Too bad.
The United States of America is as vulnerable to attack from without now as it was seven years ago today. Diligent intelligence work has thwarted several credible efforts to attack our territory once again, including an attack that was to take place within the New York City subway system. Alas, the leaders of this country do not understand that we can never make this country secure from attacks without as long as our laws sanction the deliberate assaults upon the innocent preborn day in and day out. The Rome of the Caesars fell to barbarian invaders in large measure because of the social decay found within the empire (in addition to the cost of needless foreign wars, over-regulation of the economy, bloated bureaucracies, the cult of personality of the ruling class--sound familiar?). The United States is not exempt from such a fate. (Please see
We've Done This to Ourselves,
Empires Come and Go--Including Ours, and
No Homeland Security for the Preborn.)
As we pray for the dead and the wounded and for the families in the United States of America and in Iraq that have been rent asunder as a result of this needless war, we must endeavor to be more diligent to fulfill Our Lady's Fatima Message in our own daily lives (I will have article posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, to respond to attacks upon the reliability of Our Lady's Fatima Message in light of recent egregious events in a country that is as much in the grip of the enemies of Christ the King now as it was at the very time Our Lady appeared in the Cova da Iria near Fatima between May 13, 1917, and October 13, 1917). We must live more penitentially, especially as we embark upon the beginning of Passiontide with First Vespers this evening, Saturday, March 20, 2010. We must pray more Rosaries. We must spend more time in fervent prayer, if at all possible, before Our Blessed Lord Saviour Jesus Christ's Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. We must be more earnest about making reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary for our own many sins.
We should also understand that it is not "American exceptionalism" that is the foundation of order within countries and peace among them. It is Catholicism. Nothing else. Nothing else at all.
Pope Pius XI made this clear in his very first encyclical letter, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:
We have already seen and come to the conclusion that the principal cause of the confusion, restlessness, and dangers which are so prominent a characteristic of false peace is the weakening of the binding force of law and lack of respect for authority, effects which logically follow upon denial of the truth that authority comes from God, the Creator and Universal Law-giver.
The only remedy for such state of affairs is the peace of Christ since the peace of Christ is the peace of God, which could not exist if it did not enjoin respect for law, order, and the rights of authority. In the Holy Scriptures We read: "My children, keep discipline in peace." (Ecclesiasticus xli, 17) "Much peace have they that love the law, O Lord." (Psalms cxviii, 165) "He that feareth the commandment, shall dwell in peace." (Proverbs xiii, 13) Jesus Christ very expressly states: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." (Matt. xxii, 21) He even recognized that Pilate possessed authority from on High (John xiv, 11) as he acknowledged that the scribes and Pharisees who though unworthy sat in the chair of Moses (Matt. xxiii, 2) were not without a like authority. In Joseph and Mary, Jesus respected the natural authority of parents and was subject to them for the greater part of His life. (Luke ii, 51) He also taught, by the voice of His Apostle, the same important doctrine: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God." (Romans xiii, 1; cf. also 1 Peter ii, 13, 18)
If we stop to reflect for a moment that these ideals and doctrines of Jesus Christ, for example, his teachings on the necessity and value of the spiritual life, on the dignity and sanctity of human life, on the duty of obedience, on the divine basis of human government, on the sacramental character of matrimony and by consequence the sanctity of family life -- if we stop to reflect, let Us repeat, that these ideals and doctrines of Christ (which are in fact but a portion of the treasury of truth which He left to mankind) were confided by Him to His Church and to her alone for safekeeping, and that He has promised that His aid will never fail her at any time for she is the infallible teacher of His doctrines in every century and before all nations, there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace.
Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state. The Church alone can introduce into society and maintain therein the prestige of a true, sound spiritualism, the spiritualism of Christianity which both from the point of view of truth and of its practical value is quite superior to any exclusively philosophical theory. The Church is the teacher and an example of world good-will, for she is able to inculcate and develop in mankind the "true spirit of brotherly love" (St. Augustine, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae, i, 30) and by raising the public estimation of the value and dignity of the individual's soul help thereby to lift us even unto God.
Finally, the Church is able to set both public and private life on the road to righteousness by demanding that everything and all men become obedient to God "Who beholdeth the heart," to His commands, to His laws, to His sanctions. If the teachings of the Church could only penetrate in some such manner as We have described the inner recesses of the consciences of mankind, be they rulers or be they subjects, all eventually would be so apprised of their personal and civic duties and their mutual responsibilities that in a short time "Christ would be all, and in all." (Colossians iii, 11)
Since the Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ, she is able not only to bring about at the present hour a peace that is truly the peace of Christ, but can, better than any other agency which We know of, contribute greatly to the securing of the same peace for the future, to the making impossible of war in the future. For the Church teaches (she alone has been given by God the mandate and the right to teach with authority) that not only our acts as individuals but also as groups and as nations must conform to the eternal law of God. In fact, it is much more important that the acts of a nation follow God's law, since on the nation rests a much greater responsibility for the consequences of its acts than on the individual.
When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.
There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.
It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.
It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.
It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace.
Catholicism is the one and only foundation of social order. You have heard this before? You will keep hearing until the day I die or the day that I am unable to continue work on this site as a result of physical and/or mental infirmity, whichever shall first occur (and I realize that some of you believe that the latter condition obtains at the present time). Catholicism is the only and only foundation of personal and social order. Period.
We must enfold ourselves into the love of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus as we make reparation for our own many sins, which are so responsible for the worsening of the state of the Church Militant on earth and of the world-at-large, as we seek to restore all things in Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Passiontide is upon us in but a few hours. Let us keep close to the Divine Redeemer's Most Sacred Heart through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother.
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Saint Joseph, pray for us.