President continues to divide nation over Iraq
WASHINGTON. D.C.—Apparently threatened by increasing pressure by Americans and Capitol Hill politicians to schedule troop withdrawal from Iraq, President Bush signed an executive order to punish anyone whom he determines may be "…undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people." An EO "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq," was signed by the president July 17, 2007. The EO enhances EO 13303 (May 22, 2003) which was expanded by EO 13315 (Aug. 28, 2003), EO 13350 (July 29, 2004) and EO 13364 (Nov. 29, 2004).
Claiming to be operating, "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code," President Bush cited the "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States" to justify the seizure of all property and assets of enumerated types of persons whom are determined as "threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and determining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq."
Bush also makes reference to those who would threaten his efforts "…to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people…"
Those targeted in this EO have committed or may commit "an act of violence" that could threaten the peace and stability of Iraq or its government or frustrate humanitarian efforts there and; those who may have assisted the above in any way.
The president is insisting that his administration’s plans to pacify and stabilize Iraq are the only options to be considered. Bush’s plans to promote economic and political reform in Iraq and provide humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people is to increase troop and mercenary strength and continue the occupation indefinitely—against the will of Iraqis and the better judgment of increasing numbers of Americans. Anyone who acts on beliefs to the contrary, are officially subject to seizure of their assets without prior notice or due process of law. At Section 5 of the EO, the president decreed, "For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order."
Though the language could be interpreted to justify seizing the assets and properties of just about any citizens and politicians who disagree with the president’s policies in Iraq, this EO is really just a continuation of the string of EOs mentioned in the first paragraph. In EO 13303, "Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq," Bush decreed, "I hereby order…any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process is prohibited, and shall be deemed null and void, with respect to the following: a) the Development Fund for Iraq, and b) all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products…"
The point of the EO becomes obvious—to indemnify those charged with managing the Iraq Development Fund and/or Iraqi oil. Why?
The EO was signed the same day UN Resolution 1483 created the fund to replace the infamously corrupt UN "Food for Oil Program" from Gulf War I. The EO merely gave official sanction to whomever had control of the fund to do whatever they want with it—and that includes theft. According to Canadian journalist Steven James Kerr, "On May 28, 2003, $1 billion dollars of assets were transferred to the Fund from the Oil for Food Programme. About $5 billion has gone to the fund so far [as of 2004]. That money has been looted. According to a report by Christian Aid in the UK, over $4 billion is missing."
The new Fund was under the control of the U.S. puppet Iraqi government, the "Coalition Provisional Authority," headed by Paul Bremer, who answered to President Bush. "The Fund’s money is not even kept in Iraq, but in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, though the Fund is on the books of the Iraqi Central Bank," Kerr reported.
Remember in fall, 2004, the hubbub about Halliburton charging the U.S. military in Iraq more than twice the going rate for gasoline it was importing from Turkey? On October 17, 2004, the Army Corps of Engineers reported that $600 million had been paid out of the fund to Halliburton for the high-cost gas—in violation of the terms of the UN resolution creating the fund. The money was to be used to rebuild Iraq and provide humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people—not "carrying coals to Newcastle."
So, as the American people become more convinced that a million dead Iraqi civilians, nearly 4,000 (reported) dead Americans and a depleted uranium-contaminated country is enough already, especially since Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and Saddam had no WMDs and indefinite occupation is not liberation, President Bush has drawn the line again: You are either with us as we continue to rape this nation without cause or you are with those who won’t."
The questions that remain are, "How long are we going to allow this horror to continue being committed in our names—whether we agree or not—and how long will the world wait for us to make up our minds?