Panel Refutes Bush Justification for Iraq War

June 20, 2004

On June 16, the independent commission investigating the September 11 attacks concluded that there was "no credible evidence" that Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaida target the United States. The panel stated that although Osama bin Laden asked for help from Iraq in the mid-1990s, Hussein's government never responded.

These findings directly contradict previous statements from the Bush administration which repeatedly claimed links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, and cited them as justification for launching the invasion of Iraq.

In Bush's State of the Union address in 2003 prior to the invasion, for example, he stated "Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda." Vice-President Cheney repeated this argument, and stated before the war that Saddam Hussein "has an established relationship with al-Qaeda, providing training to al-Qaeda members in the areas of poisons, gases, making conventional bombs." In January of this year, Cheney again said "there's overwhelming evidence" of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection and....there was an established relationship."

Although the entire world has known for a long time that the Bush administration was merely using such arguments as a justification for war, the findings of the commission further expose the lies of the U.S. government. The so-called "al-Qaida link," like the "weapons of mass destruction threat," was a blatant lie used by Bush as a pretext for the invasion.

Now that these lies are completely revealed, the Bush administration not only refuses to acknowledge the war as a crime of monumental proportions, but continues the war and occupation and threatens other countries with similar "pre-emptive" wars.

Of course the Bush administration has no plans to admit guilt because the real motives behind this aggressive, imperialist war are the economic and strategic interests of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class. The U.S. capitalists want to control the vast oil wealth and dominate the important Middle East region. All along Bush has made it clear that the real goals of this war were to establish a "free market system" in Iraq and a U.S.-dictated political system.

No, the lies and excuses can never cover up the fact that the war against Iraq was an aggressive war which trampled underfoot international law and the sovereignty of countries. It was and remains today an imperialist war.