- Exactly a month ago Pentagon planner Harlan Ullman, in
a CBS-TV interview, publicly revealed for the first time the Pentagon's
"Shock and Awe" plan for its assault upon Iraq, should (or when)
George W. Bush orders it.
- Ullman's information was subsequently confirmed by a
number of sources; it's for real. Here is what I wrote about it in my <http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=14425>column
of January 30:
- "The plan includes simultaneous ground invasions
from north and south... It also includes a sudden decimation of Baghdad
by raining down on its people, in two days, over 800 cruise missiles --
more than were used in the entire Gulf War. Ullman... characterized the
Baghdad assault thusly: `You have this simultaneous effect, rather like
the nuclear weapons of Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but minutes.'
It would be a firestorm, a Dresden or Tokyo with 60 years of new technology.
It would be a war crime of quick and staggering proportions.
- "Such a plan, of course, makes a mockery of Donald
Rumsfeld's ritual insistence that the Pentagon takes enormous care to avoid
civilian casualties; the plan apparently is to kill a staggering percentage
of Baghdad's civilian population in the first day alone. ... The name refers
to the demoralizing effect such an attack would have on Iraqis, an effect,
presumably, similar to the instant (although already planned) surrender
of Japan after the gratuitous bombing of Hiroshima (and even more gratuitous
bombing of Nagasaki. But those were, both military and diplomatically,
demonstration attacks -- suggesting what could be done to the imperial
rulers themselves and to Tokyo, a city far more valuable and populous than
Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.
- "In Iraq, Baghdad is the capitol."
- Now, those plans, and sentiments of horror similar to
mine, have been echoing around the Internet for a month; they've been featured
extensively in alternative publications that have come out during that
time. Which is precisely the problem.
- The United States is planning to suck all the oxygen
out of the air with a fireball over the heads of the five million residents
of Baghdad -- so that, as another Pentagon interviewee said, "nobody
in Baghdad will be safe," whether above ground or below. This has
been well-documented public knowledge for a month, widely reported in the
rest of the world. But in America it has been roundly ignored, confined
to the fringes of the media landscape and probably, by many Americans,
dismissed as a result as conspiracist nonsense.
- This raises two questions:
- 1) Are Americans -- politicians, media executives, and
ordinary citizens -- so numb, or oblivious, or callous to the horrors of
war that we cannot raise ourselves to be bothered by what would be, if
it works as planned, one of the greatest massacres, one of the greatest
war crimes, in the history of the world, committed in our name and with
- 2) Forgetting for a moment those apparently irrelevant
concerns about millions of innocent lives, war crime tribunals, and the
like, do America's war planners seriously think such an action would decrease
the motivation or effectiveness of terrorists, who are presumably the target
of the "War on Terror" and who will most certainly not be in
Baghdad? (More, in fact, are likely to be huddled in any major American
city. Perhaps we should preemptively bomb Philadelphia or Houston.)
- To take the last question first, whether it is ever implemented
or not, even the publicizing of this plan does incalculable damage to the
already-abysmal reputation of the United States in the Islamic world and
beyond. Any country that would even seriously consider such a monstrous
act certainly isn't going to be shown mercy when war is brought to its
civilian population. That's you and me.
- According to captured Al-Qaeda documents, planners of
the 9/11 massacre had originally considered flying jets into American nuclear
facilities, but decided not do so to on "humanitarian" grounds.
Does anyone think that, after our amphetamine-soaked pilots casually incinerate
a major world city and its inhabitants, that they'll show such restraint
next time? You know the answer.
- Muslims, who, like the rest of the world, seem to have
a longer memory than we do, will also recall that a massive famine, killing
up to six or seven million Afghans, was only narrowly averted in fall 2001,
even though the U.S. bombing campaign cut off badly needed supplies almost
until it was too late - - and would have continued to do so had the Taliban
not retreated. Shock and Awe, then, is the second serious brush with genocidal
civilian death from the Bush crew in only 15 months. And we genuinely wonder
why anyone hates us? Who wouldn't?
- It is as if Bush and his sociopathic advisors want stronger
terrorist groups -- want further attacks on Americans -- so as to justify
their lust for global military dominance. Regardless, they're certainly
doing their best to provoke it.
- And this brings us to the initial question: why don't
Americans seem to care? Again, setting aside niggling questions of morality,
plans like this, whether executed -- er, carried out -- or not, put every
single person living in this country in far greater danger. Forget duct
tape; we need protecting from the Bush White House, and from the record
levels of new and deepening anti- American sentiment it is generating daily.
- Some would point to corporate control of media as the
culprit in the lack of publicity given to Shock and Awe, but I suspect
the more significant factor is more banal. Such images of mass suffering
are so overwhelming in their scope that they mean nothing to most of us.
If 9/11 seemed like a movie -- as many Americans said at the time -- Shock
and Awe represents a horror so sweeping it has only rarely been depicted
on film, and never by Hollywood. You simply can't have an action hero take
on a nuclear bomb in mid- detonation, or a barrage of cruise missiles (and
munitions using un- depleted uranium) that have a similar, instantly lethal
effect. What you would have is an action hero called The Shadow, because
that's what would be left of him, burned into the sidewalk along with a
few million husbands, wives, moms, dads, and children.
- Politically, this country's leaders could not even conceivably
propose turning America into a nation permanently at war, let alone one
capable of such monstrosity. Unless, under the leadership of both major
parties, we had not spent decades being inured to American militarism,
and, in the last few years, to bombings, invasions, and civilian deaths
in faraway lands. Granted, most of the least desirable aspects of American
militarism have been carefully excised from U.S. media, but even so, what
we do get to see and hear should horrify anybody. It doesn't, and so, an
apocalyptic vision like Shock and Awe becomes just another abstract headline,
part of the arcana of military planning, completely divorced from the daily
reality of our extremely comfortable lives. No wonder news editors don't
think we'd care.
- But, of course, as February 15 literally demonstrated,
many of us do care. And hopefully, many of us will keep caring long after
Bush either backs down or incinerates the cradle of civilization. (Ashes
to ashes, indeed...) The problem, ultimately, isn't Saddam Hussein, or
Iraq, or even George Bush. The problem is militarism, and a purported democracy
in which its leaders think themselves above accountability for their actions.
- Geov Parrish is a Seattle-based columnist and reporter
for Seattle Weekly, In These Times and Eat the State! He writes the daily
Straight Shot for WorkingForChange.
- From Chuck Morrison
- Dear Jeff,
- Couple things on the item with the above
title. First, it has been discussed on the national news, on Tom Brokaw
to be exact. Of course, it wasn't described so graphically (realistically),
so most viewers, unless they know a thing or two, won't get it anyway.
But when has the majority of "average people" ever "gotten
it"? Solomon was right, there is definitely "no new thing under
- The other thing is this. People keep missing the
lack of logic in this rush to war. I'm pretty conservative about a lot
of things. I'm a strict Constitutional Constructionist, and have voted
for people from various parties at various elections. I think Saddam is
a real, honest-to-goodness, BAD MAN. I wish people wouldn't keep trying
to defend Saddam in their effort to stop the war. That's the point where
the left's logic fails. The right's logic fails in the simple fact that
NOTHING substantial has to date been accomplished that will defend us from
future terrorist attacks, AND our impending attack of Iraq will DEFINITELY
result in more terrorist attacks against us, perhaps with a much greater
loss of life per incident than 9/11.
- In other words, it doesn't matter what you are politically,
there is something to hate about this rush to war, something that doesn't
sit right. Saddam isn't logical, because no one in their right mind would
act the way he is acting. Logically, if he really cared about his countrymen,
he would surrender now to prevent the loss of innocent life. This boosts
the case for Saddam actually being a change agent for the NWO. Logically,
if Saddam was really an Al-Qaeda booster, then we could have gone in any
time with a congressional declaration of our own. Why should a soveriegn
nation such as ours, and the worlds sole superpower at that, have to kick
our heels outside the UN Chamber waiting for permission to attack a prime
funder of Al-Qaeda?
- Obviously, the entire story that has been spoon-fed
to us has been cut from whole cloth, and a chain of events has been started
that is clearly designed to plunge the world into a state of Chaos, resulting
in a desperate need to have order. A new order. A STRONG order. An illuminist
order. Out of Chaos; Order. I'm convinced the time is upon us, and there
is very little any of us can do to stop it. The time has come to protect
yourselves, for who is to say what will constitute an enemy when this nation
has fully succumbed to tyranny and becomes the police state we have feared
for so long? Ron Paul certainly has it right, and I think he may be one
of the bravest men in America. I honestly don't expect him to live much
longer. He's not the type to just shut up and go away. More will disappear,
too. Bet on it. It's been going on for years, it's nothing new to them.
But the lists are much longer now, and you can bet that every American
who participated in a protest march in recent weeks already has their picture
and name on file, because every one of you were photographed.
- It's too late. The Constitution has already been
killed, and they're trying to drain the blood out of the corpse with Patriot
II. None of our Rights matter anymore. About the time the next big thing
happens, I expect that radio, tv, and the internet will be "secured",
which means that people like you and me will no longer be seen on those
- I thoroughly expect this conflict to escalate. It
is the beginning of WWIII. Bush has been selected to be the fall-guy for
America. The fact that his actions seem forced and rather crazy should
come as no surprise, then, for there is a purpose. When the nukes have
gone off, and the pictures of horribly burned and suffering Iraqis (not
to mention our own troops!) begin to circulate, the whole world, including
our own people here, will demand that this war-criminal be tried. The
Constitutional Crisis that results will be just the thing the NWO nazi
illuminists are looking for. See? We can't win. Everything we do at this
point will play into their hands. We are balanced on the tip of the fulcrum,
and no matter which way we move, we will fall. I believe it is ordained
to occur this way, these last days of life as we have known it. For the
time of THE END is upon us, and our redemption draweth nigh.
- Keep your powder dry, Jeff. I hope you have a secret
short-wave transmitter somewhere. You'll need it before all is said and
done, if they don't take you first. Plan your escape route and keep your
tank full. And that goes for anyone else who might read this. God Bless
you and yours.
- Chuck Morrison
- Modesto, CA