According to the New York Times, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the much-demonized former pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, once issued something called a "War on Iraq I.Q. Test" which included the following question: "Which country do you think poses the greatest threat to global peace: Iraq or the U.S.?" ("A Candidate, His Minister, and the Search for Faith," Jodi Kantor, April 30, 2007.)
Although the March 2003 U.S. military invasion of Iraq and the savage pacification that continues to this very day mooted this particular item on the Reverend’s old "Iraq I.Q. Test," imagine, let us say, that instead of it being April 8, 2008, it was six years earlier, April 8, 2002. —
Knowing what you know now, how would you have answered the Reverend’s question about the "greatest threat to global peace" back then, in April 2002?
More important, how would you answer a revised version of the same question, were it posed to you today as follows:
Which country do you think poses the greatest threat to global peace:
I won’t presume to tell you how you should answer a question such as this. Just remember that this is the
By "existing UN mandate," Milne means UN Security Council Resolution 1546 of June 8, 2004. This notorious resolution handed to the
Recognizing the request of the government of Iraq for the continued presence of the Multi-National Force (MNF) in Iraq, and following consultations with Prime Minister Ayad Allawi of the Iraqi Interim Government, I am writing to confirm that the MNF under unified command is prepared to continue to contribute to the maintenance of security in Iraq, including by preventing and deterring terrorism and protecting the territory of Iraq.
Critics in the States used to complain about a film like The Godfather and cable – TV programs like The Sopranos that they unfairly depicted Italian – Americans as a bunch of bloodthirsty hoodlums. But for as long as Iraq has been a recurring item before the Security Council — since August 2, 1990, that is — the fabled International Community has conducted its affairs like the most bloodthirsty villain in United Nations history. And now this killing machine is on the verge of being returned — privatized, in effect — to the strict control of the Americans? With zero UN oversight?
So let me get this straight. — First, the
"Testimony on the Situation in Iraq," Committee on Armed Services,
"Testimony of Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker," April 8-9, 2008
"Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq," Gen. David H. Petraeus, April 8-9, 2008. (Also see the accompanying charts.)
"Secret U.S. Plan for Military Future in Iraq," Seumas Milne, The Guardian, April 8, 2008
S/RES/1546, UN Security Council, June 8, 2004
Afterword. Believe it or not, a copy of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s "War on Iraq I.Q. Test" has survived (at least in this version, which I found posted to the mindfully.org website). For the sake of archiving a copy of it before it disappears, let me re-post it here.
According to mindfully.org, the document was originally posted to the "Pastor’s Page" at the website of the Trinity United Church of Christ in
(Although I myself took the Reverend’s "Iraq I.Q. Test," I won’t divulge how I scored. Such data is confidential.)
I.Q. Test Iraq
REV. JEREMIAH WRIGHT / Trinity Pastor’s Page, February 23, 2003
Take the War on
Do you know enough to justify going to war with
1. Q: What percentage of the world’s population does the
A: 6% [correction - 4.8% of world's population - 6.2 billion vs. 280 million]
2. Q: What percentage of the world’s wealth does the
A: 50% [correction - 22% of global GDP]
3. Q: Which country has the largest oil reserves?
4. Q: Which country has the second largest oil reserves?
5. Q: How much is spent on military budgets a year worldwide?
A: $900+ billion
6. Q: How much of this is spent by the
A: 50% [explanation - military expenditures for FY2003 may be $460-470 billion including $378.5 billion for the Pentagon, $15.4 billion for nuclear weapons programs, $3.8 billion for foreign military assistance, $1.4 billion for military-related activities of other agencies, $32 billion for military retirement benefits and health care for current employees, $30 billion for the CIA, plus funding for the Homeland Security Department]
7. Q: What percent of
A: 10% (that’s about $40 billion, the amount of funding initially requested to fund our retaliatory attack on
8. Q: How many people have died in wars since World War II?
A: 86 million
9. Q: How long has
A: Since the early 1980′s.
10. Q: Did
A: No, the materials and technology were supplied by the
11. Q: Did the
12. Q: How many people did Saddam Hussein kill using gas in the Kurdish town of
13. Q: How many western countries condemned this action at the time?
14. Q: How many gallons of agent Orange did
A: 17 million.
15. Q: Are there any proven links between
16. Q: What is the estimated number of civilian casualties in the Gulf War?
17. Q: How many casualties did the Iraqi military inflict on the western forces during the Gulf War ?
18. Q: How many retreating Iraqi soldiers were buried alive by
19. Q: How many tons of depleted uranium were left in
A: 40 tons
20. Q: What according to the UN was the increase in cancer rates in
21. Q: How much of
22. Q: Is there any proof that
23. Q: Does
24. Q: How many civilian deaths has the Pentagon predicted in the event of an attack on
25. Q: What percentage of these will be children? A: Over 50%
26. Q: How many years has the
27. Q: Were the U.S and the
28. Q: How many pounds of explosives were dropped on
A: 20 million
29. Q: How many years ago was UN Resolution 661 introduced, imposing strict sanctions on
A: 12 years
30. Q: What was the child death rate in
31. Q: What was the estimated child death rate in
A: 131 (that’s an increase of 345%)
32. Q: How many Iraqis are estimated to have died by October 1999 as a result of UN sanctions?
A: 1.5 million
33. Q: How many Iraqi children are estimated to have died due to sanctions since 1997?
34. Q: Did Saddam order the inspectors out of
35. Q: How many inspections were there in November and December 1998?
36. Q: How many of these inspections had problems?
37. Q: Were the weapons inspectors allowed entry to the Ba’ath Party HQ?
38. Q: Who said that by December 1998,
A: Scott Ritter, UNSCOM chief.
39. Q: In 1998 how much of Iraq’s post 1991 capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction did the UN weapons inspectors claim to have discovered and dismantled?
40. Q: Is
41. Q: How many UN resolutions did
A: Over 65
42. Q: How many UN resolutions on
43. Q: How much does the
44. Q: How many countries are known to have nuclear weapons?
45. Q: How many nuclear warheads has
46. Q: How many nuclear warheads has US got?
A: over 10,000
47. Q: Which is the only country to use nuclear weapons?
48. Q: How many nuclear warheads does
A: Over 400
49. Q: Has
50. Q: What percentage of the Palestinian territories are controlled by Israeli settlements?
51. Q: Is
52. Q: Which country do you think poses the greatest threat to global peace:
53. Q: Who said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"?
A: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
"Audacity and Hopelessness," ZCom, March 16, 2008
"Rev. Jeremiah Wright for President," ZCom, March 17, 2008
"Audacity and Hopelessness II," ZCom, March 30, 2008
"‘The Day of Jerusalem’s Fall’," ZCom, April 4, 2008