The short story for those who don’t wish to plow through 18 minutes worth of Bush BS: The “war” — which the Shrub, wearing a cute soldier outfit, announced was over nearly five months ago — isn’t going well. This “liberation” mission will require more “sacrifice” — more fighting, more deaths, and more money. Yep, the tax-cut-and-spend pol wants more cash, to the tune of $87 billion. For a “war” whose major work supposedly is complete and was successful in its aims.
During Sunday’s pep rally, Dubya had the nerve to call his murderous terrorist campaign on the Iraqi people one of the “swiftest and most humane” military operations ever. The building of a democratic Iraq is going well, he says, save for those danged anti-American Saddam loyalists and al-Qaeda members who keep getting in the way. And now, now, he is calling on the United Nations to get involved too. Laughing yet? Or are you in tears? Obviously, “swift” joins the ranks of the White House pretender’s whoppers, such as the one about Iraq, uranium, and Niger. But “humane”? Whom does this joker think he’s kidding?
Certainly not the thousands of dead Iraqis killed because of their “liberation.” Certainly not the families of US soldiers who lost their lives in this murderous enterprise. According to the Associated Press, more Americans have died in Iraq than were killed during the actual invasion effort. Overall, 287 lost their lives — 149 since May 1.
James C. Moore, co-author of Bush’s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W.Bush Presidential, isn’t fooled. In fact, he says he is “repulsed”:
Mr. Bush has done things in my name, and yours, which repulse me. I have no doubt that Saddam Hussein’s two sons needed to be brought to justice. But I was disgusted that my country gave sponsor to the notion of showing their dead faces on television, as though that might reassure the Iraqis. This was the modern international equivalent of brutal tribes placing their conquered foes heads on a spike in the town square. I despise the way Mr. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and all of the neo-cons, had developed a military plan that sent our brave soldiers to secure oil fields, rather than protecting the people of Iraq, the institutions of their culture and commerce, which Saddam Hussein had been misusing for decades.
The president, and his cynic-in-chief, Karl Rove, are using a manufactured war to keep Americans scared. And it is working. But I am ashamed that the president of my country would go back to the United Nations, the very organization he ignored when he launched the war, to ask for help in securing Iraq. Mr. Bush grew up in West Texas, where billboards dot the Permian Basin landscape with the message: “U.S. out of U.N.” And because Rove wants to keep the fundamentalist right happy, Mr. Bush made clear that he would act without the imprimatur of the U.N. And now he has the audacity to seek its help.
I am repulsed by my president. He allowed the drums of war to get hammered over aluminum tubes, which were never meant for anything more deadly than the making of rockets. The whole notion of the tubes being part of the construction of a centrifuge had been refuted by several international organizations, including America’s own Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, fourteen months before the story was leaked to a compliant, lazy U.S. media. The tubes were for the construction of Medusa 81 rockets, an Italian-designed weapon. Everybody in the intelligence community knew it, and Rove and the White House Iraq Group sent down orders that government intelligence experts were to keep their mouths shut about dissenting information.
Check out Moore’s complete commentary on Buzzflash.
Shrub hasn’t pulled the proverbial wool over OutlookIndia.com‘s eyes either:
Almost five months after the US and UK “liberated” Iraq, the Bush administration has at long last swallowed its pride and agreed to cede a large part of the control of Iraq’s future to the UN. But all the indications from Washington and New York, where a draft resolution designed to do this is even now being circulated among members of the Security Council, suggest the transfer of authority it is proposing amounts to too little, too late, and is too grudging. It will not, therefore, stop that unhappy country from becoming the world’s next failed state.
Iraq is already a long way down that road. Five months after occupation, the US and UK have not been able to restore even the most basic of infrastructural services. There’s less power available today than on April 10, so there’s no respite from the unending, brutal heat. The shortage of gasoline is so acute that people wait in two-mile-long queues, pushing their cars a few metres at a time in 55°C to buy 40 litres of gasoline. Without electricity it’s not just gas stations that don’t work, water treatment plants, those that are still functional, also stand idle. Without safe drinking water, children continue to die. Worst of all, 10 million Iraqis, virtually the country’s entire adult non-agricultural workforce, is now unemployed. Only the UN-World Food Programme packages stand between them and destitution. Not surprisingly, looting has become endemic; the streets are no longer safe and women don’t go out if they can avoid doing so.
Society, polity and state, all are visibly disintegrating. Resistance is on the rise and is coalescing into a more deadly and purposeful movement to drive the Americans away in disgrace. And it is on the road to success. As of September 3, 152 Americans had died and 740 had been injured after hostilities officially ended. They are now dying at the rate of 40 a month. The list of targets has grown to include any person, organisation or country that collaborates with the occupying powers. Thus, it has widened from Iraqi policemen and civilians who are cooperating with the ‘coalition’ authorities, to the UN and countries deemed to be collaborating with the Americans. That was the message sent by the bombing of the Jordanian embassy on August 7, of the UN on August 19 and of Najaf on July 29.
To ensure that Iraq remains without power, this resistance is blowing up transmission lines and towers; to prevent Iraq from exporting oil, it’s blowing up pipelines. Its efforts have been successful. All over Iraq people are comparing the US’ and UK’s ineptitude with Saddam Hussein’s efficiency. “It took Saddam only one month to bring the power supply back after the first Gulf War and two months to restore gasoline supply from the oilfields and refineries,” they mutter to each other and to foreign interlocutors.
As respect for the conquerors plummets, public anger is being stoked by the sight of British and American soldiers living in and working out of Saddam’s palaces and eating in huge air-conditioned mess halls. For them, there is no shortage of power, safe drinking water or food.
Bush’s decision to call in the UN reflects his government’s growing desperation. The US cannot increase its troops in Iraq, because it does not have enough of them in reserve. In any case even 60,000 more troops will make little actual difference if the resistance keeps growing. He also cannot pay the domestic political cost of the rising body count indefinitely. Handing over to the UN is the only honourable way out. But militarily a UN force could become another quagmire of conflicting national loyalties and confused chains of command. Hence the US’ insistence that the operation remain under an American general.
But most Iraqis will perceive that as a continuation of the occupation under a different coloured cap. So the resistance will continue its attacks on the infrastructure to discredit the administration and on the soldiers of countries that join the US-led UN force. In the end, this compromise could end by destroying the UN’s moral authority without restoring peace.
And what about this 87 BILLION DOLLARS, which would be in addition to the $79 billion US lawmakers approved last April? Shrub says the money will go toward funding military and intelligence operations and rebuilding efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. (Perhaps Halliburton, Bechtel, and other Bush-Cheney corporate
contributors contractors count as “elsewhere.”)
Most unforgivably, the Thief-in-Chief invoked the memory of the September 11 attacks of nearly two years ago. Yes, the attacks were a nightmarish time for the US and for the world. The event and its victims deserve remembrance. But let’s stay on topic here: The plan for invading Iraq was planned long before US officials missed or ignored signs that a massive crisis was going to take place; it sat on National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice’s desk before those ill-fated planes even took flight toward the Pentagon, Washington, DC, and the Twin Towers. Bush’s foul use of the attacks as a justification for his vicious war crime against humanity is a nasty insult to us all, and particularly to those who lost loved ones on that terrible, terrible day.
There is much more to say, about lies, about the “missing” weapons of mass destruction Shrub never even mentioned in this address (you’ll find them in Bush’s budget), about many things. Finding myself yo-yoing between giggles and tears, I’ll let International ANSWER, Ramsey Clark’s peace and anti-racism coalition, do the talking:
President Bush’s illegal war and occupation of Iraq has left the administration in a position of extreme political vulnerability. He now wants the United Nations and U.S. taxpayers to bail him out. Having defied U.S. and world public opinion – which preemptively opposed his planned, illegal invasion of Iraq – the Bush administration wants to internationalize responsibility for the U.S. quagmire in Iraq. With U.S. casualties mounting daily he wants the soldiers of other countries to do more of the dying to take the heat off himself at home. And in the name of fighting international terrorism he wants the already suffering working class, poor and middle class communities to foot the bill to the tune of another $87 billion (triple what they had projected). Having had his public rationale(s) for the war exposed in recent weeks as a complete fraud, Bush shamelessly reverts to the time-tested tactic of trying to scare the hell out of people.
President Bush’s conduct on Iraq – before, during and now after the Iraq war – has made the old cliché about truth being the “first casualty in war” to be a grand understatement. Everything about this “pre-emptive war” is premised on deceit. Even in the realm of ever duplicitous “world politics,” the administration’s pattern of cynical deception was and remains breathtaking. Tonight’s nationally televised address conforms to this pattern of endless deceit.
- Bush lied before the war. Iraq never posed a grave and imminent danger to the United States. Iraq had nothing to do with September 11th. Iraq never possessed nuclear weapons. Iraq was not rapidly trying to develop weapons of mass destruction. This was a war of aggression against the second-largest oil producer on the planet that had been weakened by a decade of economic sanctions and political isolation.
- Bush lied during the war. This was not liberation. The Iraqi people did not welcome the U.S. armed forces as liberators but as occupiers. Their lives did not become better. On the contrary, this culturally rich society has been torn apart, deprived of necessary services to sustain civilian society and on the brink of internal collapse.
- Bush is lying now. Iraq is not the battlefield between “international terrorism” and the forces of so-called “freedom” and “civilization.” The growing resistance to U.S. occupation is the consequence of an angry and proud people in Iraq who insist on reclaiming their own sovereignty. Having killed tens of thousands of Iraqis in an illegal invasion – and a growing number of dead and maimed U.S. soldiers – the Bush team wants U.S. taxpayers to spend at least another $87 billion on the occupation of Iraq. The vast majority sentiment in Iraq wants the U.S. soldiers to leave and the U.S. GIs want to go home. The Iraqi people’s call to end the occupation is not a call for even more foreign nations to occupy it and to take a share in the looting of Iraq’s natural resources. The truth is that the invasion and occupation of Iraq is viewed by the people of the Middle East as an act of “international terrorism” and as such it can only lead to a dangerous escalation in the cycle of violence.
Why did Bush address the nation tonight? He, like Nixon a generation ago, fears that the people of the United States are turning against this criminal war. During his administration, Bush has only rarely felt that he must address the people, and does so when he fears that a sentiment is growing strong enough to challenge his illegal actions. He must then lie more to convince the people of the U.S. to support his criminal endeavors, or at least acquiesce in them. His shameful “top gun” act aboard the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Lincoln, in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner, was an effort to tell people in the United States and around the world that the war was over and that no more critical attention need be focused on Iraq. Tonight, with that lie laid bare, he is seeking to go a new route, to convince people that far from being over, the war is a high stakes game to save “civilization” and “freedom” and that it requires endless sacrifice in human life and vitally needed resources.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition calls on people in the United States to join together for a massive demonstration in Washington DC on October 25th to demand “Bring the Troops Home Now, End the Occupation of Iraq.”
I plan to be there, and I hope you will too. Get details on the event itself and on procuring transport at the coalition’s Web site.