Surely you already knew without reading Scott McClellan’s mea culpa that the Cheney Cabal came to power in January, 2001, determined to firmly establish by any means an American Hegemony, removing or destroying any opposition regimes.
But, how to rationalize to you the absolute necessity for "removing" those pesky regimes? And how to justify to you the use of nukes if necessary to effect those removals?
Well, within days of the spectacularly successful second attack by al-Qaeda on the World Trade Center Towers, the Cheney Cabal had formulated their game plan.
And in his first State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush, already the self-anointed Commander-in-Chief of the War on Terror, outlined it.
After singling out the pesky regimes then in place in North Korea, Iran and Iraq, Bush declared that
"States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States.
"In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons."
For reasons perhaps known only to Bush, himself, within hours of the Twin Towers coming down, he had directed that plans be drawn up to invade and occupy Iraq.
In August 2003, Walter Pincus and Barton Gellman at the Washington Post revealed to you that the White House Iraq Group had been established by President Bush’s chief of staff in August 2002, to essentially “market” to you gullible consumers what was as we now know, thanks to the Downing Street Memos Bush’s impending war of aggression against Iraq.
WHIG which met weekly in the White House Situation Room included the president’s political adviser Karl Rove, National Security Adviser Condi Rice, her deputy Stephen Hadley, Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, and various congressional-relations and media-relations flacks.
The rationale for the upcoming invasion and occupation of Iraq was to be the (known to be non-existent) threat to you and yours of "mushroom clouds."
Known to be non-existent?
You better believe.
Way back in 1998 the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency had reported to the UN Security Council that
"The verification activities have revealed no indications that Iraq had achieved its programme objective of producing nuclear weapons or that Iraq had produced more than a few grams of weapon-usable nuclear material or had clandestinely acquired such material.
"Furthermore, there are no indications that there remains in Iraq any physical capability for the production of weapon-usable nuclear material of any practical significance. In February 1994, IAEA completed the removal from Iraq of all weapon-usable nuclear material essentially research reactor fuel under IAEA safeguards."
Furthermore, IAEA inspectors continued to visit Iraq at least once each year, including 2002, to verify that nothing had changed; that Iraq was still in compliance with its Safeguards Agreement.
Worse still, every other state the Cheney Cabal had targeted for regime change (because they were allegedly seeking nuclear weapons) were subject to IAEA Safeguards agreements as required by the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and were, at least annually, verified by IAEA inspectors to be in "compliance."
Well, obviously, the entire NPT-based nuke proliferation-prevention regime had to be totally discredited, and Bonkers Bolton then UnderSecretary of State for Non-Proliferation and later Acting Ambassador to the United Nations was the Cheney Cabal designated "point man."
The NPT-based regime had three major components.
First, there was the Treaty itself, which required all signatories not already having nukes to negotiate a Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA "for the exclusive purpose" of ensuring that no weapons-grade plutonium or uranium ever got diverted to a military purpose.
The NPT, itself, has no enforcement mechanism.
Second, there was the IAEA, established within the United Nations, with a primary mission of facilitating "the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world."
But the IAEA was also charged with ensuring "so far as it is able" that no materials or activities subject to IAEA Safeguards agreements were ever used to "further a military purpose."
Now, the IAEA Statute does provide an enforcement mechanism. The IAEA is to report to the UN Security Council any such "diversions."
Third, there was the Security Council, which under Article 39 of the UN Charter is empowered to "determine" whether there exists "any threat to the peace." Having made such a determination in accord with Article 40, the Council is then to decide what measures "shall" be taken in accordance with either Article 41 which cannot involve the use of force or Article 42, which can.
Bonkers Bolton’s legacy is that he has thoroughly undermined the NPT and the UN Charter, by strong-arming and corrupting both the IAEA Board of Governors and the Security Council itself.
In the case of Iran, Director-General ElBaradei has consistently reported to the IAEA Board that he can find "no indication" that any NPT-proscribed materials have ever been "diverted" to any purpose, military or otherwise.
Therefore, the IAEA Board is acting corruptly, contrary to its own Statute, when it repeatedly requires Iran to essentially "prove" to ElBaradei that it does not have a nuclear weapons program, never had a nuclear weapons program, and does not intend to ever have a nuclear weapons program.
Similarly, the Security Council is acting corruptly, contrary to the UN Charter, when it imposes Article 41 sanctions on Iran without ever making a determination under Article 39 that Iran’s IAEA Safeguarded uranium-enrichment program constitutes a "threat to the peace"!
Such sanctions to remain in force until Iran satisfies ElBaradei that it does not have, never had, and never intends to have a nuclear weapons program. Talk about Mission Impossible.
Nevertheless, contrary to what you may have seen "reported" in the so-called Mainstream Media, ElBaradei’s report of 26 May to the IAEA Board and the Security Council begins by noting that
"The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran. Iran has provided the Agency with access to declared nuclear material and has provided the required nuclear material accountancy reports in connection with declared nuclear material and activities."
Were there any surprises in ElBaradei’s still "confidential" report?
Yes, there was this; you remember that 15-page document the IAEA found while searching through Iran’s files, which, among other things, sketched a process for casting uranium-metal into "hemispheres"? The Iranians claimed that document must have been included amongst many other documents supplied them, gratis, in association with their purchase of drawings of Pakistan’s second generation gas-centrifuges.
Well, guess what. In response to a formal request by ElBaradei, Pakistan has confirmed "that an identical document exists in Pakistan."