America’s WMD Pretext to Wage War on Iraq – Ten Years after Colin Powell By Michael Welch
8 February 2013 — Global Research News Hour Episode 14
“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more … Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.” -- Secretary of State Colin Powell before the UN Security Council on Iraq’s WMD threat, February 5, 2003
Weapons of Mass Delusion
It was a presentation designed to garner international support for a military intervention into Iraq. Colin Powell, retired Four Star General and US Secretary of State spoke in front of a UN Security Council Plenary session to detail the evidence of Saddam Hussein refusing to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1441. The resolution, passed unanimously the previous November, called for Iraq to fully cooperate with weapons inspectors and disarm or face “serious consequences.”
Powell’s dossier included the testimonies of anonymous defectors, satellite images, schematics of mobile labs for biological weapons agents, intercepted phone conversations and a prop vial supposedly containing Anthrax powder.
The UN, in the end, was not sufficiently persuaded by Powell’s presentation to authorize the use of force to oust the Iraqi strong man by force, but his performance was convincing enough to garner popular support within the United States for the war. The US under then President George W Bush and the United Kingdom under then Prime Minister Tony Blair led a so-called “coalition of the willing” to “free the Iraqi people” from a brutal dictator.
“Operation Iraqi Freedom” has proven to be disastrous to the reputations of the former American and British Heads of State. Much more significantly, it has devastated the civilian population of Iraq with a death toll conservatively estimated to be in the tens of thousands.
On the tenth anniversary of Powell’s infamous speech, we examine the evidence of the Iraq War as a war crime with distinguished University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle.
Abandoning the Battlefield
“I will never apologize for deserting the American army. I deserted an injustice and leaving was the right thing to do. I owe one apology and one apology only, and that is to the people of Iraq.”
-Joshua Key, from his 2007 book The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq
Like far too many Americans, Joshua Key from Guthrie, Oklahoma joined the US Army in 2002, principally to be able to make enough of an income to support his young wife and children.
At first, Joshua accepted at face value the Bush Administration’s claims that Saddam Hussein was threatening America with terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Having served in Iraq during the first nine months of the war, Key’s perspective on the war changed and out of conscience, he deserted as soon as he returned to the US.
He eventually made his way to Canada, and like dozens of other deserters, sought sanctuary there.
The Canadian government did not officially support the war in Iraq, nevertheless, the current Conservative government of Stephen Harper has a jaded view of these soldiers who they see as “bogus refugee claimants.” Several have already been returned to the United States to face lengthy prison sentences and dishonorable discharge.
Key co-wrote with Lawrence Hill his memoir The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq.
Key joins us in the last half hour to discuss his journey and the obstacles faced by US War resisters and deserters in Canada.
TO consult the GLOBAL RESEARCH Interactive Reader on the Iraq War, click here.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW
The Global Research News Hour hosted by Michael Welch airs on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg Thursdays at 10am CDT. The programme is now broadcast weekly by the Progressive Radio Network in the US, and is available for download on the Global Research website.